Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

“Thank you for your attention.”

I’m at a conference and what most authors say in the end is this sentence. And I wonder if people were, in fact, paying attention. Honestly, most were, especially the senior researchers and experts, but a few were distracted or searching to overcome boredom. I understand both and acknowledge that those experiencing boredom face the […]

The two arts you develop while attending a conference

How can you make the most of a conference you’re attending? You listen and interact. However, most people are with their laptops checking email, reading papers, or preparing their presentation. Other people use tablets instead. And occasionally you see people with their smartphone sending messages or getting dopamine through social networks. Art of Listening Listening is […]

Smartphone Attention Disorder or SAD

A new field of research is the impact smartphones have on our social lives. One of the primary impacts is on our ability to pay attention because it consumes too much of ours. Namely, whenever people get bored while listening to someone in a seminar, for example, picking up their smartphone is becoming the most […]

Exercises to develop the willpower muscle of scientific writing

Writing a scientific paper when you have the results takes willpower. It’s not easy to put what you’ve done into words, and clear enough that others may reproduce what you did. It takes also time, and if you have other commitments because you work at a company or teach, its competing with them. But willpower […]

The Transition Effect – the reason why we accumulate work and the cycle to solve the problem

In a previous article, I reflected on what to do when work accumulates and suggested we be patient, value our efforts and keep our eyes on the goal. And recently, I read this article in Harvard Business Review explaining the accumulation of work as the result of a “transition effect.” In practice, our work accumulates […]

Struggling with time? Me too.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with time. But it’s impossible to go against it because “he” doesn’t seem to stop. Time keeps moving forward, and all we can do is try to catch up. The challenge is to find the wave and the right way to surf it. Every task takes time. In some occasions, you […]

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. You begin to list what to do, and soon realize you’re lost in what remains to do. You could procrastinate, and that is […]

What are the most essential tips for scientific writing?

A few days ago, I received an email for Wiley Publishers pointing to a document containing 10 Essential writing tips for engineers. Some of those tips concern other aspects of a researcher’s presentation of his work – conferences, keynotes, tips for the slides, etc. -, which does not involve writing. However, there are three writing […]

How do you feel the day before a presentation?

Do you know the experience of having a presentation the next day and constantly dream about it? Do you succeed in your dreams or fail? I woke up today experiencing this. And I cannot tell whether I succeeded or failed. I only know that such experience is one of vulnerability. I usually deal with vulnerability […]

How do you plan your day?

“What gets scheduled gets done.” – I love this sentence by Michael Hyatt because it synthesizes well the purpose of planning: getting things done. But have you ever experienced planning things and, afterward, it seems every day has a life of its own, stopping you from reaching your goals? I often experience this and started […]