Tag Archives: academic goal

Achievement Unlocked: productive afternoon

Achieved Today
Cleaned the bathroom
Had a nap
Read five articles

I spent about three to four hours this afternoon doing some ‘starter’ research for my exhibition package’s catalogue (my summer school project). It’s making me feel like maybe I want to change the direction of my (potential) thesis! And I’d love too include an exhibition proposal/plan within my thesis 🙂

Exhibition Title
Still Reading Picture Books: highlights from the Marcie Muir Collection of the National Library of Australia.

I’m looking into Muir’s collecting policies and practices, and how these are reflected in her collection (which is now held by the NLA).

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Mind Mapping 19.1.2012

We all know I love a good stream of thought dialogue, but that technique was not appropriate for me today when I was brainstorming some thesis topic thoughts. So I turned to (my beloved) mind-mapping:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
My first mind map of the day
The pencil was during a Skype chat with my mum

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Second mind map of the day
Starting to refine my ideas further; working towards a specific topic

Daily Goals Update

After talking with Jenn, I have decided that my current #AcWri goals need to be tweaked a little. I will read two articles a day, but I will also spend time working towards my monthly goal (refining my thesis topic to something more specific). Once I  have gotten approval for my topic, and can start research towards it, I will re-tweak my #AcWri goals.

#AcWri for Accountability

My studious pal Jenn has come up with a brilliant way of sharing our writing goals with each other (and other academic writers) as a form of accountability: the Academic Writing Accountability program. This initiative works in conjunction with her Studious Network (an online forum for academics) and is communicated via (our best friend) Twitter (using the hash tag #AcWri). Jenn cites the following reasons for creating the program:

Daily writing habit is essential for academic success and this habit can be cultivated through practice.
Be accountable for your own writing by publicly share your writing goal.
Productivity will increase when it is being measured or monitored.
Peer support is the best motivation in academic writing.

I find all of these points relevant to my need for accountability. And the easy access to peer support via Twitter (and the Studious Network) means I am constantly getting feedback from others in my position.

So, what are my goals for Academic Writing Accountability?

  • Write 300 words every day  — this does not have to be writing chapters but can include thesis related blog posts, notes I take while reading,  etc.
  • Make daily updates to my peers (via Twitter using the #AcWri tag) to maintain daily accountability
  • Write a weekly ‘totals’ entry in my thesis journal to record my long term progress

EDIT

I have decided I need to add an element to my #AcWri goals:

  • Read two articles towards my research every day — this is at least for the short term, while I am still at the very beginning of my thesis

Creating Accountability

Martina Lynne wrote the following about accountability (as a way of ‘keeping your sanity’ as a postgrad):

8. Create accountability. This is especially important for the kind of work we do without much supervision, like teaching and studying for exams and dissertating. It’s easy to make those lists and build that structure, but if you have no one to report to but yourself, it can also be easy to slip into a cycle of not meeting your own expectations, making excuses, feeling shitty, and then getting overwhelmed by the mounting overflow work. Instead, make a weekly date with a friend where you report to each other how things are going or create study groups, even if you’re not all working on the exact same materials. Not only will this make sure you don’t drop the ball, but just spending that time explaining what you’ve been working on will help solidify it in your mind and be valuable practice for when you have to explain yourself to — gulp! — exam panels or dissertation chairs or hiring committees.

Unfortunately, I lack peers. And my academic friends are largely online nowadays. As such, I plan on keeping accountability within my journal.

My goals for today:

  • Read at least two new journal articles
  • Read through reading notes and start refining topic
  • Get my hair cut (not an ‘academic’ goal, I know, but I have been putting this off for so long it needs to be crossed off the ‘to do’ list!)
  • Take Charlie for a jaunt at the beach (exercise, fitness, and good health have to become a priority in my life and are no longer allowed to take a back seat)