Interesting Things, June 8th 2015

Hello! How are things in your part of the world? Since I last shared an interesting things post I’ve had a strange series of weeks. First, I was ill – and being ill sucks! I got better after a couple of days, but I realised that I have very little in the way of relaxing strategies. And as I write that I realise how odd it sounds: why would someone need strategies for relaxing? People talk about strategies or systems for time management or planning all of the time, but it feels wrong to think about strategies for relaxing.

I’ve also had a couple of weeks where I’ve been working from home. I’ve missed being out and about delivering workshops, but enjoyed the extra time around family. It’s also meant that I’ve had time to start planning for the next writing project, which I’ll probably be in a position to share something about soon. I’m aiming to publish again by mid-to-late-September I think, but this is contingent on me getting first drafts done by the end of July. I’ll need to use this last week of non-workshop time to really get a good plan together, and also break some ground on chapters……..

…….but I think it’s doable 🙂

Anyway! What have I been reading?

Links and Posts

How to become a literature searching ninja – the Thesis Whisperer knocks it out of the park again. This is a great, great article. My own practice as a PhD student when it came to literature review was pretty poor. This not only shares some great advice, but also shares a technique that is transferable to so many other circumstances: idea generation, viva prep, project planning, team organisation – these just jumped to my mind when I first saw it and I think there are many more. If you’ve not seen this post already, go and check it out now.

get your writing unstuck – retreat! – there is lots of good, practical advice coming from the Think Ahead Blog, and this post is no different. Ciara Kelly shares something that she has been trying with colleagues that you can try too: mini writing retreats aimed at stress-free productivity. I think I’ll try this out myself!

5 Steps To Re-create Xerox PARC’s Design Magic (From The Guy Who Helped Make It) – this is a pretty neat article on invention and innovation that I saw a friend share. I think it’s worth passing on here, although it’s not directed at postgraduate researchers, I think there is a lot of interesting ideas that can be built on.

Emma Cole’s YouTube Channel – Emma tweeted at Viva Survivors that she was vlogging her last 30 days before she submits her thesis, and it’s a really interesting slice of life to watch! Start here and watch as the story of this really cool time for Emma unfolds.

Viva Survivors, Episode 41: Dr Malcolm Craig – the latest episode of the podcast has gone up today! I had a great time talking with Malcolm about his research and viva experiences. The next episode will arrive on 15th June.

Right Here, Right Now

What’s inspired you recently? Share what’s got you thinking lately in the comments. I’ll be sharing a few more posts this week, both sort-of book reviews for things that I’ve enjoyed reading in the past week or so. In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some posts about research I’ll be conducting soon on viva expectations, and when my plans are a little more developed I’ll talk a little about my next book project. And I’ll be back out working with researchers in universities too – maybe even you!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)