I seem to be a little bit snowed under by work at the moment. I’ve broken the jobs up into a few different piles, and will try doing them on specific days – instead of my previous plan of “attempt to do everything at once, all the time.” That hasn’t been working out so well for me in recent months.
Admin stuff: progress reports are by far the biggest time sink in this category. There’s invariably a huge pile of other stuff that needs doing, too – between the CRC and university. Also, keeping an eye out for seminars and workshops and sending RSVPs for the relevant ones can chew up some time. [Monday has just been nominated as Admin Stuff day]
Case Studies: Finding, contacting, and coordinating interview times with business owners has become the bane of my existence. I need at least a few more to fill out my study group, and need them soon – because I want enough time to re-interview them at the end of the year, while still having time to finish writing my thesis. Once all the interviews are finished, I still need to regularly check in with each business online via their social media posts. That’s easy to do in bite-sized chunks, and impossible to do in a single sitting – there are simply too many of them to read at once. [Tuesday afternoons have just become Interview Wrangling and Case Study time]
Transcribing: Any moment now, comment-spam will start flooding in from the countless transcription services out there on the internet. I’m typing out my interview transcripts. It takes a lot of time, but I prefer doing it myself. I do, however, need to make it a regular part of my schedule – otherwise it becomes the kind of intimidating job that never gets finished. [Wednesdays just became Transcription days. Once these are finished, that day will become a data analysis day]
Thesis Writing: The most important one. Why is it this far down the list? Probably says something about my state of mind. By early April I need to get a draft chapter to my supervisor. I’ll be writing about social media, giving an overview of the history of the technology, and the services most relevant to Australian businesses at the beginning of my project. I’m going to experiment with Scrivener for the chapter, as I’ve been wanting to play with it for a while. [Fridays are now my writing day – after #socialmelb I’ll find a comfy spot to write for a few hours]
Reading and Literature Search: When I started my PhD, there really wasn’t much written on social media and small business. Since then, the field has become very active. I feel rusty and out of date in 2011, as it’s been months since I last tried to comprehensively search the literature. I want to spend at least half a day each week keeping on top of this, to make sure I stay current. [Tuesday mornings have just been nominated for reading and searching]
Conferences: Three related tasks here. They won’t be a regular time commitment, but will need some space during the year. Finding out about them (and their submission dates) is an important start, and I want to make a calendar as part of my Admin Stuff day. Writing applications and papers tends to be a huge time sink, but is important for developing a publication history. Actually attending the conferences is another matter. There are three that I have my eye on this year (one international, two local). I’ll write more about these in my next update…