Getting things done (GTD) for scientists-Intro

This is an introduction to a new series that I'm writing for the folks in my lab (and anyone else interested) on productivity in academic science.  Nowadays the average grad student has to manage course work, thesis meetings, qualifying exams, writing papers/grants, and crushing it with experiments.  In order to maintain sanity and not get completely overwhelmed all of these things must be approached in a sensible, balanced, and low stress way.  The last series was about scientific productivity apps which will serve as the tools for a lot of what I'll discuss in the coming weeks.   In this series I'll give examples of how I set goals and manage my time to accomplish these goals.  I also think a lot about this and so I'm constantly trying to improve the things that are working for me (like batching tasks) and get rid of the things that aren't (like checking email 1000 times per day).  I should also mention that this approach works for me but may not work for everyone so folks should take from it what they like and create their own system for getting things done (GTD).  The most important thing is to have a GTD strategy..... having no strategy is a complete disaster.  Tentatively, these are some of the upcoming post titles:

  • The big picture: What are you about? What do you want? How are you going to get there?
  • The plan: 3 months, 1 month, and 1 week
  • The Day: Using reverse scheduling, Parkinson's law, and laser focus to get 14 hours of work done in 8 hours.
  • The Sunday review
  • Inbox zero to manage incoming information
  • Multitasking is for chumps