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10 Tips for Managing Your Academic Research Project

To conduct a Ph.D. research is not only tedious but also takes time and effort for Ph.D. candidates. The candidates have between 3 to 4 years to complete the project, but time moves so fast that they feel inadequate. Most of the time, the candidates seek an extension of time to complete the Ph.D. research project or continue writing the dissertation after running out of funding. According to VivaEssays, Ph.D. candidates have a lot of work to deliver within a limited period, such as conducting their studies, finishing proposals for submissions, presentations of papers, and publishing the same papers.

The Ph.D. candidates feel awful as the deadline for the submission of their project approaches pretty fast. At this time, they race against time to complete the project. During this time, the candidates wish that they had planned and managed their work well.

Some of them might be doing some peer review work, mentoring studies, and teaching. Besides their intellectual work Ph.D., candidates grapple with several logistic and administrative works to balance together with their research activities. Similarly, delays will leave them with a limited time than they ever imagined.

Source:sciencemag.org

Ph.D. candidates who are researchers need to manage their time well to become effective and successful in their work. Effective management of their time ensures that the research journey is happy and smooth and avoids last-minute rush that leads to delays and stress. To finish your Ph.D. project before financial worries start, you need to possess some critical skills. It is unnecessary to learn advanced courses in scheduling and forecasting, but simple project management skills are enough to get you through.

In this article, we explore critical tips that will help you remain on track with research work and pay attention to important aspects.

  • Make use of project management tools: Well-organized planning is an important ingredient to effective time-management. At the start of each academic year or semester, make sure you have an outlined plan in your mind on how you will spend your time and resources at your disposal. There are several planning and project management tools online, such as proofHub, Trello, and Asano. When you use them, your project will remain on course.
  • Work on several goals at the same time: Once you have a list of your key goals, see if you can execute some simultaneously, and make sure that you have good progress. For instance, you do not have to finish research and analysis to begin writing the paper. To move fast, you can work on methodology as you do your experiments, and this way, your procedures will get renewed in your mind.
  • Plan for realistic deadlines for the tasks:to work on a deadline for an important objective, consider working backward, divide the activity into small tasks, and allocate deadlines. Consider keeping some buffer time so that you are not over-ambitious. Fitting your daily or weekly time tightly might b counter-productive since you might lose inspiration and even stop following the plan, or you can overwork yourself and get burnout.
  • Develop every day to do lists:It is a great idea to set your daily to-do list to monitor your daily work and ensure you complete it on time. It is encouraging for a researcher to see his or her to-do list shrink each day. Spend your last 5 minutes every day to create an action list for the next day while ideas are still fresh inside your mind.
  • Plan for high-priority activities:it is a good strategy to plan your time for large tasks that need your utmost attention. For example, most researchers have found out that it is effective for them to block a huge amount of time in the morning to do some writing. Instead of attending to emails in the morning, it pays off to invest time to make headway in authoring your manuscript, or the act of writing gives you some sense of accomplishment.
  • Learn the art of saying no: Researchers have several requests and opportunities in their research. Accepting all requests can be a form of distraction, making you lose focus on achieving your goals. Before accepting any, more work asks yourself if it will help you achieve your goals.
  • Avoid distractions: Phone is the greatest distractor to researchers, to manage this consider turning off all your notifications so that it does not disturb you as you make progress with your work. Consider checking your messages and emails at the close of each session. 5 minutes is enough for this task.
  • Avoid procrastination: procrastination is enemy number one for effective time management. Procrastination is common with missed deadlines and missed opportunities. In one way or the other, we have all experienced the negative effects of procrastination. To beat procrastination, consider scheduling difficult activities on the same day you have personal plans.
  • Take breaks:It is not good to spend the entire day on your desk. It is better to work in focused sessions of between 1 to 2 hours with breaks after each session. It will help researchers to improve their productivity. Within your breaks, you can engage yourself in some physical activities such as cycling, yoga, or even swimming. Our minds and bodies will appreciate this gesture by ensuring that we come back to our desks refreshed. It is important that you set aside some time for your friends and family; this will enable you to deliver on your work when you resume.
Source:psyche.co

Finally, your research paper does not have to be a stress to you anymore. Follow the above steps and you will smile all the way.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com