Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

What can you do to overcome the crisis of accumulating research work

How can you be productive when work accumulates, the need for scheduling meetings continues, plus some additional formation you’re asked to take, classes, thesis supervision, projects, family commitments and the list continues.

Work accumulates

You begin to list what to do, and soon realize you’re lost in what remains to do. You could procrastinate, and that is the reason why you accumulate work, but not always. You could be the kind of person who says yes to everything, but this may happen even if you say no to a lot of things.

The reason is simple. Things take time.

And you cannot fully control the time some tasks take, no matter how hard you try.

When you’re processing data, you cannot make everything automatic. Often you need to analyze while you process and this occasionally leads to a path of exciting discoveries.

But, is there anything you can do to fulfill what you have to do with the time that is given to you? …paraphrasing Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings. I’m going to try a few of these ideas.

 

Be patient

This must be a quality every researcher should develop. If things take time to reach an optimum result, or ideas to mature, if you know this in advance, exercise patience. As long as you keep the working rhythm, you know you’re fully living the present moment and not wasting time.

 

Value your efforts

You can easily stress with what you haven’t done and forget to value what you already accomplish. Every step you take to fulfill your goals, no matter how small, it’s moving you forward. Sometimes, you give a step backward, but it only serves the purpose of providing you with perspective.

 

Eyes on the goal

In research, you have a goal. There was a puzzling question which started a path, and everything you do has the purpose of moving you toward reaching that goal. More often than you would like, other things get in the way, but those who keep their eyes on the goal, despite deviations, keep moving because our vision is hemispheric, but our minds can focus and provide direction.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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