View profile

Managing a huge plate - Say What? #13

May 18 · Issue #13 · View online
Say What?
Hi and Salam Ramadhan to everyone who celebrates this holy month!
If you’re fasting, I hope that the month is going on great for you. If you, like me, are fasting in a country that is more than 16 hours, don’t forget to stay hydrated and drinks lots of water.
This issue is about managing all your responsibilities (or ‘plate’) wisely. Hope you find it beneficial!

One thing that is different about being in graduate school vs being in university as an undergraduate is the amount of independent study that is expected of you. For instance, I only have two modules per semester, and that’s like 6-hours of class/workshop every week. The rest of the time, I’m expected to be self-studying and reading on my own. Time management is super crucial in graduate school, especially if you have a family or part-time job to balance (like a lot of my classmates!)
With my dissertation coming up now, there is a lot more focus on time management to ensure that I can finish it on time. Specifically, I want to finish my dissertation in 100 Days (by mid-August), hence the #100DaysofDissertation challenge. I wrote a little about this in my blog recently:
100 Days of Dissertation.
To help me get through this dissertation period, I need to find ways to better keep track and manage my time. Fortunately, my classmate shared this one technique that she tried out last term and how it worked well for her to work on her assignments. Personally, I’ve never tried it yet but I’m definitely intrigued to test it out and see how it works out for me.
The Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique is where you break up your time into smaller and more manageable chunks of period. This helps you to stay focused on one task for a shorter amount of time, and reminds you to take a short break in between your tasks to keep your mind fresh.
Each Pomodoro is 25-minutes long (and you can use whatever timer you want - on your phone, an app, an online Pomodoro timer). After each Pomodoro, you get a 5 minutes break. After a set of 4 Pomodoros, you get a longer break of 15 minutes. (All the duration can be adjusted to fit your habit/style).
The Pomodoro Technique® - proudly developed by Francesco Cirillo | Cirillo Consulting GmbH
This technique can help you to break bigger tasks (such as writing a 12,500 words dissertation) into smaller chunks. The tasks would then look more manageable and helps you to focus on completing on task at a time.
I’m intrigued to try this technique out and see how it works for me. I’ve always been a fan of different time management tools / tricks (i.e. I installed and often use the StayFocusd extension on Google Chrome to help me block out distractions), and I’m excited to see how this works with my study habits. Definitely trying this out for my dissertation, and I’ll report back to you guys in September about its effectiveness!
How much is too much?
There are times in which I feel like I’m taking on a little too much on my plate, and I wanted to take a break from something. This whole summer’s going to be busy, with dissertation and keeping up this newsletter and the blog (which is at times deserted), my part-time job, my other project with #Career57, and trying to maintain a healthy social life.
But when I think about all the people who juggle a lot more things in their life, like Alena (co-owner of MAZELEE) who is doing her PhD while taking care of a family with 6 kids AND pregnant with her 7th kid, I’m just like…
But then I saw this tweet, and I was like, omg yes so much feels.
Amanda Lynn Burkhart
Maybe you think someone doesn’t have a lot on their plate compared to you.

But maybe their plate is smaller than yours and doesn’t have a lot of room to begin with.

Or maybe their plate is paper, and their flimsy paper plate can’t hold as much as your sturdy ceramic plate can.
So this is just a reminder for myself, and for any of you out there who feels the same way that I do. It is OK to have a small plate. It is OK to have a flimsy plate at some time, and a sturdy plate at another time. Life happens, and you’ve got to take care of yourself first. So it’s okay to take a break to refresh or recharge your energy.
Let me end this issue with an article that MrStingy recently shared on his Facebook page. It’s one that I resonate well with and am trying to implement in my life, and I highly encourage you to read it if you have the time.
The Ultimate Productivity Hack is Saying No | James Clear
Hopefully you’ve found the issue to be useful, and, as always, you can email me with any comments, feedback or suggestions for future issues.
Don’t forget to share the newsletter with your friends!
Until next time, stay awesome and take care!
Did you enjoy this issue?
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue