Catch Up, 27th October 2014

What have you been up to lately? I’ve been in Sheffield delivering some workshops, and I’ve been preparing for a few more in the North West and Wales. I’ve also been recording more episodes of the Viva Survivors Podcast after a call for interviewees was answered by lots of people all at once – a good problem to have! I’ve also been writing for the coming weeks, as I’ll be away a little and didn’t want to break the chain of publication that I’ve been forging.

On This Blog

Almost two weeks ago I shared a post about inspiration, which was followed the next day by my first book review (a monthly feature of this blog from now on). I rounded that week out by answering a common question about the viva: is there a dress code? Last week was a bit reflective around here, and I shared a total of four posts loosely themed around “Time and the PhD“. These were some ideas that I’ve been chewing over for a while now, and they’re starting to poke out from among my brain cells and make themselves known more and more. I’m sure that it’s a topic I’ll be returning to in the future, as I try to draw thoughts together.

Anyway: let’s take a look at what else I’ve seen that’s piqued my curiosity!

Meanwhile, elsewhere

Drop and give me 20,000 (words)! – this account of Thesis Bootcamps and what they are is really inspiring. I think it hits the mark in showing an excellent way to get your thesis written. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to attend one at your institution there are lots of great tips here. I so want to facilitate/support one of these, so if anyone wants to get in touch… 🙂

9 Rules For Emailing From Google Exec Eric Schmidt – a great post with clear ideas in it. I particularly like the third idea as I’m always aiming for #inboxzero!

Shorter, Better, Faster, Stronger – my friend Jen Allanson tweeted this article at me which connects with some of the ideas I was writing about last week; great to see some interesting research and ideas on this topic.

What You Eat Affects Your Productivity – more “food for thought”; there’s a nice discussion here, but it would have been great to see some concrete “eating X or Y will have a positive impact” tips. I might have to keep a food diary and self experiment…

Viva Survivors Podcast, Episode 28 – the latest episode, where I talk to Dr Anthony Whittaker about his PhD and viva. The first time I’ve talked to someone who created a portfolio of original composition for their thesis. Lots of great advice in this episode, and Episode 29 is due on November 3rd.

Looking Ahead

I’ve a busy couple of weeks ahead, so I’m going to be practising all of the time management and productivity ideas I’ve been reading and thinking about. This week I’m at the University of Liverpool for a First Year Development Workshop, and next week I’m at LJMU and the University of Manchester delivering several different workshops. Great challenges!

The blog will still update regularly – next week I will be posting every day as I share thoughts on five of the most common questions I get asked about the PhD viva. Before then, I’ll share a creative thinking related post tomorrow, and on Thursday I’ll post another answer to a common viva question. On Wednesday I’ll be making an announcement about the Viva Survivors Podcast.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)