Research Time Planner (as GANTT)

I am still developing the column headings for the planner that I presented yesterday, and while this is certainly beyond what The Clockwork Muse discusses, I think that having a project plan that includes all of the main elements that will take time in the doctoral thesis process (I am a project manager, after all), may help to add a bit of realization. For example, I have heard many people say, “write each day,” but that necessitates a constant reading and processing and organizing, none of which are readily accounted for in the time established for “writing each day.” The comments I received have been very helpful in moving this along . . .

I only have so much time, so need to organize it as well as I can. With this said, here are my revised column headings:

Section Length
(pages)
Literature
(search, read, process)
Research Steps
(organize, interview, transcribe, etc.)
Writing
(pages per day)
Time
(days)
Deadline

I really welcome more feedback on this. While I so value a GANTT chart, I know the thesis has quiet components (writing, thinking, etc.) that may easily be neglected if they are not literally listed and considered; thus this focus on various specific chunks, that while they are not always as clearly identified as being distinct, need to be accounted for.

 

Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2011-04-29

  • Here I thought I was to catch up on email + dive into my research, and I realize my funk has been sociomusical disconnectedness #phdchat #
  • "Can you hear me, major Tom?" Yes, Bowie still haunts us today. #
  • Goodness, what is TweetDeck doing? Just discovered a number of Mentions I have not acknowledged. Alas. #
  • Thinking of doing a top 10 of my favorite songs. May be useful to explore them a bit; wondering about potential themes? #
  • Goodness, can I really be 2 days behind on Twitter? Too dated to reply? Oh, bollocks, why not? #
  • I never realized how funny some of the lyrics are in Naughty By Nature's O.P.P.; the song still feels fresh. #
  • I am trying to get caught up; have had the hardest time since I returned from the UK / Ireland. Not sure why such a challenge this trip. #
  • I am developing a Research Time Commitment Planner http://bit.ly/iMkP8g and welcome feedback #phdchat #
  • Where did today go? #

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Research Time Commitment Planner

Thinking a little more deeply about scheduling and managing time for writing my doctoral thesis, as a continuation of my post yesterday about The Clockwork Muse, I am wondering how to also build in the time for reading and doing the research / transcription itself. While there is a great amount of time that is needed for the writing of the thesis, there is also a lot of time that needs to be allocated for the other elements of the research, and I am trying to organize my life for the next year overall.

Let me explain what I am thinking. As per Zerubavel’s suggested writing outline (pg. 76-77), these are the column headings for the time estimates for writing: 

Section Length
(pages)
Pace
(pages per day)
Time
(days)
Deadline

I think this is very helpful; as writing is clearly a tremendous time commitment. However, I think that considering writing alone may be a bit decieving for the amount of work involved in the next year or so. Thus, this is how I am thinking about creating a master time commitment list, including both writing as well as the research itself that proceeds and happens throughout the writing: 

Section Literature
(search and read)
Research
(specify)
Transcription Length
(pages)
Pace
(pages per day)
Time
(days)
Deadline

I welcome some thoughts about this . . .

 

My Thesis Clockwork Muse

Borrowing from the title of The Clockwork Muse, the excellent writing management guide by Eviatar Zerubavel about scheduling and managing the writing process for long documents such as a thesis, dissertation, or book, I am now creating a more-informed writing timetable for my doctoral thesis. I was not familiar with this book before Moira Peelo, the higher education consultant who Lancaster University helped us work with for two days during our cohort’s recent UnResidential, recommended it for its no-nonsense approach to time management for writing projects.

While this text talks about developing a realistic writing schedule and project timetable, as well as the logistics around implementing them, I feel much more confident approaching my doctoral thesis as a large piece of work comprised of many smaller steps or components. While I never really considered how long something takes, often leveraging the adrenaline rush I experience as deadlines loom large, I am not becoming increasingly focused on when I want to have my research finished, and thus need to take concreate steps to make that happen in a more timely and consistent manner than would be possible without formulating and implementing a plan.

In the same way that I did not want to think about writing until I have more of my literature review done, I realize the approach to doing all the “research” first and then writing things up in large chunks may not be the best approach. Even when I developed an overview of how long I expect my work to take for my proposal, I was not being specific or detailed enough. Better to learn sooner rather than later, I suppose!

To this end, I will take Zerubavel’s suggestion for developoing a detailed chart that includes all the sections for my thesis, as well as the estimated length for each one, expected number of pages per day I can work on it, the number of total time in days, and the deadlines (dates) for each section. I will also account for how many days it is realistic for me to write, taking into account other commitments, travel, work, and the like.

No better time than the present to consider these issues and begin to make progress on them. I am glad this book helped me to frame this in a way that I simply did not realistically consider before.

 

Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2011-04-26

  • Just learned about this interesting new journal, the Journal of Organizational Ethnography http://bit.ly/ijmPc5 #phdchat #
  • Farewell, GoDaddy. I will march with my credit card to another domain host. Wonder how I missed this story when it came out? #
  • Time for me to switch domain hosts after the horrible image of the great white hunter sitting on an elephant he killed, after justifying it. #
  • GoDaddy.com founder criticized by PETA for elephant-hunting video – http://bit.ly/hwV7zG #cnn // I won't do business with elephant killers. #
  • GoDaddy CEO Shoots Elephant, Injures Brand [VIDEO] http://t.co/aurQfUC via @mashbusiness @mashable #
  • Now that my residential, holiday, holidays, and jet-lag are over, time to fully reengage with my research #phdchat #

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