Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

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.

Struggle time

Every task takes time. In some occasions, you underestimate the time you needed for completion and everything else you scheduled for that day goes off track, and you keep adjusting but eventually postpone several tasks. This is my struggle.

I value the act of writing your goals for today, which should allow you to complete your weekly goals, but reaching the end of the day with all this derailment can be demotivating. What can I do?


Keep eyes on the goal

For everything you do, there should be a “why” supporting it. The “why” is the source of motivation. If there is a clear why, there is something you move toward to, and the challenge is only to find the means to keep you on track. But, what if deviations cost you the thing you need the most? Time?


Be patient

In the end, everything is going to be ok. If it’s not ok, you haven’t reached the end. This is how the time to do something becomes “endless.” There must be a different strategy and what I’ll try is patience.

Be patient with me, others and the things in hand. The most important part is to do the best I possibly can with the time I have. And if something has to go, an remains undone, maybe consider not doing at all.



The things we need to do require well defined priorities. Often, if you prioritize the wrong things and fall in the trap of procrastination, time flies and you see it go. Stick with priorities, but have some slack for the unexpected. Often, contingencies hide moments of great creativity. We need to learn how to “flow” and keep flowing.

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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