It's been a while since I wrote my first 'How I Plan' entry, so I thought I'd give you a quick update!
Current position: Teaching Fellow in Ancient History (University of Leicester) and Research Associate (Institute of Classical Studies)
How much research time is built into my job: None. I am a full-time teacher here - but there is research time built in to my preparation time, in that I understand 'research led teaching' to be just that, and I have a bit of time to get research that is related to my classes done. But, I obviously am still doing my own research in my own time.
If the next REF were held tomorrow, I would: not be returned.
I work on:
Ancient Greek religion, and specifically personal experience and belief. I am finishing up my monograph (Underworld Gods in Ancient Greek Religion: Death and Reciprocity) and doing some work on young girls in Athenian religion - how their bodies are used as ritual objects, and how they experience religion.
Tools I use to plan my research:
This is the same as my earlier How I Plan!
I use a Bullet Journal style system, and my two main research-planning parts are my Gantt chart and my research pipeline. I’ve talked about both of these in videos on YouTube. I also use a Calendex and appointments schedule, weekly planning spreads that refer back to my Gantt chart, goals (including 1, 3, and 5 year goals, and REF related goals). I like having my plans on paper because they feel much more tangible to me than if they are digital. I can touch them, I can mould them: it may sound silly but having a physical, inscribed object that speaks my plans and goals makes them feel real and concrete to me.
I also use OneNote to keep an updated ‘master plan’ of each research project: this is kind of like a research proposal to myself. It includes an abstract, a plan, a brief timeline. This is all related back to my Gantt chart, and research is slotted into spaces that it will fit (rather than having everything start now, because then nothing starts!)
Research Planning in a Bullet Journal
I don't spend as much time planning as I used to, because I have streamlined my processes. For example, I now use a two-weeks-to-a-view Filofax insert, to which I add a piece of dotted paper with all my other 'bullet journal' bits.
My approach to planning/planning philosophy is:
Just Plan. Be Flexible. And... of course:
"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives" - Annie Dillard.
My routine is:
At present: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday in Leicester; Wednesday and Friday in London. Do all my teaching prep, spend time writing every day, think about my career wherever possible, try and relax.
I think I am organised/disorganised/other (please specify):
I think I live in a constant state of organised chaos, where some parts of my life come into sharp (organisational) focus – like work. Other parts are just a blur of fuzz.
I would like to improve my…
Still not getting my logging down...
Logging! I try and log all my writing and reading, but I often forget or run out of time. I like doing the logging because on days when it feels like not much has been done it’s nice to look back at a list of things you actually have achieved!
My best piece of planning advice is:
Set goals and stick to them.
Setting goals is so important.
(Bonus: here's my video on setting 1, 3, and 5 year goals!)