25 Aug

How do you plan crazy?

Whew, what a crazy summer I had! And this fall is going to be even crazier. I am teaching two lab sections that are three hours each plus the extra time to prep lectures and grade assignments. I am also taking a genomics course that is a three credit hour course (meaning we meet in class three hours a week) and don’t really know how much work that is going to take. I have also been elected the outreach officer for the 2015-16 Biochemistry Graduate Association at my school (brand new position so I have no guidance). So far this entails officer meetings of about an hour in length at least once a month, putting together a weekly email of events coming up the following week, and planning our participation in local outreach activities. I am attempting to finish a teaching certificate that our university offers to prepare grad students for a tenure-track teaching position. For this, I have to attend several seminars throughout the year, audit a couple of classes and fill out evaluations, as well as write a teaching philosophy statement, CV and a syllabus.

Oh, and I am also guest lecturing for my advisor towards the end of the semester.

On top of all this, I had a “come to Jesus” meeting with The Boss today and he informed me he wants me writing by next December. This means I should have all my research done by the end of next year.


I’m obviously needing to plan out what I want/need to accomplish. I’ve decided that I want to break it down in the following way:

  • Long term: Completing my project by December 2016
  • Long, mid-term: Plan out what I need to complete by the end of each semester
  • Short, mid-term: Plan out what I need to complete by the end of each month
  • Short-term: Plan out what I need to complete by the end of the week

After making this decision, my next step was to head to Google. And boy was I overwhelmed with articles and templates on time management and planning (over 502 million results for “time management” and over 54 million results for “planning dissertation research”). Trying to sort through what is helpful and what isn’t relevant is turning into a task of its own.

As I investigate further, my question to you is this: How do you plan your tasks? What do you use to lay out your goals? Please leave your tips and suggestions, all are welcome!!!