PhD Survival Guide; Time Blocking

At the time of originally writing this post I was 1 and a half years into my PhD. At the time I wrote that ‘this means that I am half way through my PhD’, ah I was a little too optimistic.  During this time in my PhD is when things went from busy to really busy. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to teach, mark, and be the state coordinator for a volunteer organisation. This meant my calendar was the fullest it had ever been.  

This is why I started using the ‘time blocking’ organisation technique where I completely scheduled my days. I still use this technique now when I have a busy period of teaching and marking. 

I use google sheets to time block as I can access this anywhere including on my phone!

To give you a better idea of how I set out my time blocking here is a week from my current schedule. When I was working on my PhD I split the sections up into different tasks. I used one colour for PhD work, one for teaching, one for marking, and one for social/life things [note that currently due to isolation there is no social events!]

 

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So as you can see, time blocking is essentially timetabling your day to fit in all the tasks you need to get done.

If you do use the time blocking technique, always ensure that you set up your schedule to suit your own productivity strengths. For example, I know that I cannot read and note textbooks for long periods of time, so I schedule smaller (30 minutes) periods throughout the day for textbook reading.

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