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    How do you handle reading? Keeping up to date with journals, articles sent by peers, etc?

    I'm a phd student and I have TONS of reading that needs to be done - most items are general background material in my field with which I need to be familiar, the latest research coming out or stuff that I need to absorb if I want to pass my comps. (this is all on TOP of reading that must be done related to certain specific research projects or classes.)

    Its hard enough (ok, impossible) to find the TIME for all this reading, but where do you keep it on your lists? Its not really a someday/maybe - I can't do it 10 years from now. And each item is just 1 action, usually more than 2 minutes but often much longer (ie Read entire book - title). Right now I have a project called READING and I put each article, book, etc that I find under there, but I'm not sure that is the right way to handle this material. What do you do?

  • #2
    Originally posted by misanthropic777 View Post
    How do you handle reading? Keeping up to date with journals, articles sent by peers, etc?

    I'm a phd student and I have TONS of reading that needs to be done - most items are general background material in my field with which I need to be familiar, the latest research coming out or stuff that I need to absorb if I want to pass my comps. (this is all on TOP of reading that must be done related to certain specific research projects or classes.)

    Its hard enough (ok, impossible) to find the TIME for all this reading, but where do you keep it on your lists? Its not really a someday/maybe - I can't do it 10 years from now. And each item is just 1 action, usually more than 2 minutes but often much longer (ie Read entire book - title). Right now I have a project called READING and I put each article, book, etc that I find under there, but I'm not sure that is the right way to handle this material. What do you do?
    Hi there. I am a PhD student too. I am starting up (2nd year) so I have not had as many readings pile up as you do now. (I can forsee that in the future though).

    Currently I do keep a "reading" list in someday/maybe. I don't have a "reading" project. The reason is that - I can never check the project finished if I put it active, and it's demoralizing. Instead. I put individual reading items in my NA list.

    Every week (or a few days), I would look and check, based on time, and my mental power etc., to see if I can put some readings onto my NA list. I will pull them out from the "To Read..." in someday/maybe, and input it as NA. So, whenever I finish one, I check off one - I try to find a bit taste of fulfillment.

    My problem though, however, often is I don't celebrate having things done as good as I mentally needed. My inner-self often restrain myself from celebrating/feeling good, it's psychology though:P
    Last edited by Campion; 07-28-2007, 08:16 AM.

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    • #3
      re: Reading, and Getting Things Done in Academia

      Try checking out some of my other posts on reading by clicking my name and selecting find all posts by Todd V and scan for the ones on reading.

      Also, here are some really helpful suggestions I spent some time thinking about related to GTD & Acedmia you may find helpful:

      The three keys for reading are:
      1. Write down the purpose for reading - in order to…
      2. Write down an estimated time to read on each item - <15min, <30min, ,60min, etc. (and keep all your <15min together, all your <30min together in one Read-Review folder. Then you can just pull out your reading when you've got 30 minutes and crank through one or two of them.
      3. Divide the reading into manageable bits. Instead of Finish reading this book - write down "Read chapter 1 to better understand the context of …"

      I use a post it note and just write down all three on each piece of reading I need to do and then keep them all in a folder with me when I travel.

      Those three tips will increase your reading greatly. They did for me.
      Last edited by Todd V; 08-08-2012, 01:36 PM.

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      • #4
        Here are a few thoughts I share with clients:

        o In your job, I think "reading" wouldn't be a project, it's more what Allen calls an "Area of Responsibility."

        o If you have something critical you must read, make it an action. If it's due by a certain date, also mark it on your calendar.

        o If a particular read is long, chunk it as you see fit. I usually recommend actions be possible in one sitting, or one hour. Even arbitrary chunks can be useful - 20 minutes, one chapter, 30 pages, etc. Note: It should be a project if it's more than one step.

        o Consider blocking time for reading. Making appointments with yourself like this give you a good excuse for keeping up.


        Related:

        Reading: what kind of NA is that? - some GTD reading resources
        http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthr...6119#post36119

        A reading workflow based on Leveen's "Little Guide"
        http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2007/03...n-leveens.html

        How to read a lot of books in a short time
        http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2006/02...hort-time.html

        Reading Books The GTD Way
        http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2005/09...s-gtd-way.html

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cornell View Post

          o Consider blocking time for reading. Making appointments with yourself like this give you a good excuse for keeping up.


          Related:

          Reading: what kind of NA is that? - some GTD reading resources
          http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthr...6119#post36119

          A reading workflow based on Leveen's "Little Guide"
          http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2007/03...n-leveens.html

          How to read a lot of books in a short time
          http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2006/02...hort-time.html

          Reading Books The GTD Way
          http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2005/09...s-gtd-way.html
          GREAT resources

          Its interesting that you mention making appointments with yourself to read. I've been considering doing that - not specifying how MUCH to read at a time but specifying "reading time" by project....

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          • #6
            My 2 cents

            I'm in sales but I have to read too (weekly magazines to update on technology and competition, daily newspapers to update on any critical events, books to develop myself). There're different approaches to reading but only a few ways out:

            1. Block time in you calendar to read. Make sure that's not top business hours when everyone needs you. On the other hand that should be the time when your brains still at the highest point. So it should be quite time and high-brain time. Then have your materials with you and read, read, read.

            2. Put it on your next action list. "Read 1 chapter of Book X" @Office or @Home. And try to read when you have nothing scheduled in the calendar. I find it quite difficult for office worker when others jump in to chat, telephone rings and your boss goes around But if you're at home office - why not?!

            Use the same approach to get your reading notes into computer for future reference and action required. My personal advice - do not read more then 1 book at a time to finish it quicker and start using it's content in your work.

            Have a nice day!

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            • #7
              http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10928755/ try this information about handling reading.. Some students from private boarding school uses that information..

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