Tag Archives: time management

Want me to share study secrets?

So, here’s the thing. When I was in grade school, I was the obnoxious know-it-all. I didn’t need to study that hard to get through with good enough grades to keep mom off my back. There was a slowly declining curve as I progressed through high school, and then college came, and I skimmed by the skin of my teeth, to be honest. First grad school wasn’t intensely difficult because a lot of what I did was about making things — writing words, learning to direct, stage managing, building sets, so on. No academic writing whatsoever.

Takanawadai Elementary school 高輪台小学校24

Takanawadai Elementary school 高輪台小学校24 (Photo credit: scarletgreen)

The reason I say the above is because it means this: I never learned good study habits. Ever. I was a lazy snot and bluffed the rest. Or maybe I didn’t consider some things studying because I enjoyed doing them, and they came easily because I was interested. The point is, now I’m in a boat where I’m very interested in what I’m doing, but it is very very hard and it is kicking my ass. So I’ve had to hoist myself by the bootstraps and get in gear, and I’ve had to cobble methods for making this happen as I go along.

Anyone want to hear how I’m getting that done? I offer this in the hope that something I’ve thrown together may be of benefit to someone else out there. And to hear how others out there get their stuff done. Because this is joyously hard (she says, tearing out a bit of hair a realizing she’s chipped yet another tooth), and sharing is caring and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this boat.

Studies and Resolutions

So, as I think I’ve said before somewhere around here, I’m currently a doctoral student at Queensland University of Technology. It’s not precisely a PhD (in fact, it’s called a Doctorate of Creative Industries).

I have never had to think like this before. It’s a completely new plane of thought. I like it, I do, but it’s exhausting in the same way a new exercise regimen is.

I am also thoroughly unaccustomed to being considered, and treated as, an expert (at least in a professional sense). I’m so constantly on the edge of putting my metaphorical dukes up, ready to defend my position on just about anything, that having a slew of very intelligent, insightful, and supportive people being nice to me and acknowledging the value in what I say is just bewildering.

And it’s a wonderful rush to get questioned not to knock me down, but to actually query my ideas. Mush ’em around a bit. Find new leads, close off old ones, or develop them further. Help other folks bolster theirs, or bring focus, or contrast.

I am just not used to this.

And it’s great.

My only problem, as it always is, is time management. I’m eating better mainly because it keeps the brain-fog sleepies at bay. But sleep deprivation is a beast that can’t be tamed by staying off the sweets.

Again, as I mentioned somewhere in a tweet or Facebook or something, I have learned that blogs are a perfect acceptable, and even encouraged, form of qualitative research. This provides a nifty solution to two things at once: one, I’ll actually write things here on a regular basis. I’ll have to; a lot of the stuff boiling up in my head gets lost in the slew of notebooks I have lying around. (Speaking of which: is Evernote worth it? Reviews and personal anecdotes welcome in the comments.)

Two, I’ll have a chronological breakdown of the thought processes surrounding the research and practice going into making Project 1. I’ll cover just what Project 1 (and the subsequent Project 2) is in a follow-up post.

This said, I have some caveats. Well, I have one for now, reserving the right to add more as I see fit. This place will be a bit of a mess. I am not, by nature, an organized person. You’ll see blather show up in here that may have very little relation to a well-thought out idea. Feel free to skip those; I’ll find a way to tag them, or mark them in the title of the post. But I recommend you actually read them. I expect they’ll be fairly short — I tend to think in bursts of static — and they may have insights that you might find useful, even if the first thing you think of is how strongly you disagree.

Because that’s okay. What matters is that it got you thinking in the first place.

Time is like a greased fish.

Oh, I had such great plans. A post a week, maybe. More than that, when I was feeling really ambitious.

I expect a number of my posts are going to be about wrangling time management. I’m not very good at it, so I’ll be welcoming suggestions from whomever is kind enough to offer.

Part of the problem is a sense of a lack of subject matter, or of a smallness of opinion. Both are nonsense. There’s tons to talk about when it comes to stories.

So, in short, the lizard part of my brain says it’s all overwhelming and can’t cope and puts things off until it’s mid-May fercryinoutloud.

In the next few days (I’ve put in alarms and reminders and set aside times and dates on my calendar), I’ll be outlining just what I want to do with this space, and what I want to say. To be fair, these things will be somewhat fluid. I’ve got a lot of interests, and stories are part and parcel of everything we do. I’ll tackle advertising, RPGs, and more “traditional” forms of storytelling, like movies and books.

Hell, I might even tackle some stage plays. It’s about time I did something like that.

Anyway, this serves as a way to break the ice, let my reader(s?) know I haven’t entirely fallen off the face of the earth, and serve as a prod to my own sluggish lizard brain to start up some momentum and get things done.

See you in seven days or fewer.

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