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 . . .

5 thoughts on “Research Time Commitment Planner

  1. Well, now we’re talking project management! One of my fav subjects!

    So thinking outloud here…

    Does “search and read” literature and “research” include note-taking/processing/mindmapping time?

    For me, searching for articles is very different than reading/processing them. I might be tempted to have another column.

    I took the milestones for program and put them in project plan on ManyMoon. However, I have NOT broken down the milestone that equals Ch 1-3. You are inspiring me to do so. 🙂 Thank you!

  2. Christiana, this is quite helpful. I am also quite engaged (professionally) in project management as well, so simply love trying to create a process / container for the process, and appreciate your thoughts. I tend to obsess over process elements, often before I actually “begin” the work itself.

    I was including them both together for research, but am thinking about breaking these out a bit more. Will post in a new post for some more feedback.

    Thank you for helping to push this a bit, as I struggle to move forward without a process in place.

    Jeffrey

  3. I agree with Christiana about reading being different from searching. During my thesis writing I even allocated different moments during workdays for these activities.

    Each of us has a different method for writing, I guess. My method includes a lot of re-writing. Being a non-native English speaker, I start off writing rapidly (often in a combination of Dutch and English) and then go through endless cycles of grammar and spell-checking and refining each and every sentence.
    So, I would add another column: re-writing.

    1. Great point about this, Antoine. Thank you for sharing it and helping to move this along.

      I agree with the re-writing, and as I have never done a long piece of writing such as this before, I am not clear how much re-writing will be needed. Zerubavel speaks about re-writing being part of the writing process, with his concept of “writing” including 4 full versions, with re-writing and writing so linked they are not distinguished much. With this in mind, I tended to lump them together.

      I suppose until I actually begin that formal part of the process, I may not know how I work to see if I should separate.

      Let me play with this a bit today, and see where the revision leads me . . .

      Thanks for pushing my thinking along!

      Jeffrey

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