Catch Up, 24th November 2014

Is it that time already? Seems like only yesterday that I was writing one of these posts, where does the time go… It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, delivering more than a few workshops and keeping a few plates spinning. I was very happy to facilitate on a KESS Grad School recently; I’ve been involved with the programme for a number of years now, and it’s great that that’s continued on. Long train journeys to get to south Wales though, but perfect for lots of reading!

On This Blog

Almost two weeks ago I shared a favourite idea generation process of mine, which resulted in me coming up with some more Christmas presents for my wife! I reviewed The Path Of A Doer, and answered a common question about the viva (“what’s the worst question they can ask?“), before sharing a series of posts that started with me thinking about to do lists. I shared some experiments that I’ve run on myself to try to find things that work for me. In fact this week I’m doing another, capturing things in three columns on a big sheet of paper. Column headings are Tasks, Short and Emails (Short is for the little tasks that are not urgent but need doing at some point OR need doing soon but are not important). It’s just another little test to see what works. What works for you?

Meanwhile, elsewhere

More Insights on Building a Rock-Solid Routine – I read a book published by 99u, and it mentioned this page as having some neat resources. I took a look and I think there’s definitely some valuable stuff on here.

How to Write a PhD Thesis Your Committee Will NOT Approve – there’s lots of great advice in this article (I think it was written for non-UK PhDs, but that’s OK); I love the inversion, kind of like in my ebook (available in the Kindle Store!) but what I love most are the meme-y pictures. Awesome 🙂

Get More Out of the Books You Read With an Idea Index – a really simple idea for when you’re reading and want to make notes of the ideas that you find interesting in a book. I often use my Kindle to read non-fiction, but find the bookmarking frustrating. I might start writing with a small book journal nestled underneath my Kindle!

Productivity Tools – Dr Jason Downs is trying out lots of things to boost his productivity, and sharing ideas via his blog. Partly what inspired me to do similar! In this post he shares some tools that he has been trying.

Viva Survivors Podcast, Episode 30Dr Murphy McCaleb is my guest on this episode, and he shared his PhD and viva experience, as well as telling me about what it was like to turn his thesis into a book for publication. Episodes 31 and 32 will both debut next week!

Looking Ahead

Workshop delivery is slowing down for me around this time of year, but I have a day of workshops in Sheffield to look forward to next week, and one more First Year Development Workshop coming up at Liverpool too. Plus I’ve been happily taking some new bookings for 2015 as well! Along with that, expect three more posts this week, and more next week; these will include some creative thinking thoughts, more common questions about the PhD viva, as well as some other interesting posts. The year is heading towards the last few weeks, but I have a couple of interesting announcements coming up, so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

PS – please take a look at my Patreon campaign for the Viva Survivors Podcast!