To be a scientist, you don’t need necessarily get a PhD. But doing a PhD is a good practice to learn that being a scientist does not need genius but needs focus.
Although I write this blog for scientific and academic discussions, I want to abuse it a little bit to report a workshop I recently attend. I went to Grad Cohort workshop in
So back to the requirements to be a scientist, I learned in this workshop that although I feel I am a hardworking PhD student, but it might be a myth. I learned probably I am doing my PhD horribly, very horribly. By horribly, I mean I am wasting too much time, I am not doing research by its real meaning, and I am slaving myself while I could do things in a much easier fashion.
For example, in a time management session, the speaker shocked me by telling us that checking e-mails is the most time-consuming task we do in the entire day, even when we are not in our offices. We open our mailboxes several times, and by several I mean a huge number.
So I’d like report back some of tips that I found useful, for all ambitious students, scientists, researchers, or scientist-title seekers:
- Don’t check e-mails in the morning. You are scarifying the best best best hours of the day on nothing. Honestly, it is really hard: We, people in computing science, wake up in the morning with a hand searching for the power button of our laptop, and the other hand may be searching for glasses to read the e-mails. So I started with this practice: I open my mailbox, but I just look for very important e-mails, like ones from my supervisor. I don’t read spam-like ones, I even delete half the e-mails that I guess I am not going to read any ways!!
- Practice Time-Sink Finding for two weeks. I started doing this. Every 15 minutes record what you did in that last quarter of hour. Don’t think it is a stupid test, and don’t think you should start doing it when your deadlines are over. At least I promise you due to the
- Put some time on deep thinking. I have not yet started doing this, but I am sure it is a good advice.
- Have a place to hide: When you have a deadline, a very important conference is coming, or your PhD Qual exam is approaching, you should have a corner of a library that no one knows you (probably social science library is an option !!). I have such a corner, but I can't reveal its name !! You go there, don't move, work for 12 hours in a serial!