So these are the ideas I have to keep me focused, positive and making progress!
Writing this Critical Research Journal
At the moment I flit from one piece of reading to another not fully understanding them. I try to persevere and eventually I find something I can understand, relate to my practice or my thinking and then write a blog. I find the blog a useful focus for making notes on my reading and over time it will become a resource for me to refer to as I start to write my thesis. I try to pick out some key points and quotations from all my reading so I have a starting point from which I can read in more detail if it turns out to be important in my work.
I believe that I need to commit to writing for at least an hour every day. This forces me to focus on the reading and hopefully gives me a positive outcome to my daily endeavours. A leading journalist with the Guardian Newspaper once told me that writers need to write every day without fail – any layoff means time will be spent getting back into the groove. Holidays, he said, can be hell from that point of view.
I have committed to putting together a mind map of the key approaches and thinking currently related to my PhD. I plan to use this as a starting point for my early conversations with my supervisors. The mind map will become a key piece of evidence in charting the progress of my thinking as I journey through my PhD. I will produce a revised version at key milestones. I am also planning to learn more about Papineau’s Tree that is an interesting approach to literature review based on the core terms within different layers of a discipline as they develop over time.
Weekly Photographic Practice
I intend to take photographic images on a regular basis and plan to write one blog showing my work in progress for the week. This provides a useful diary of progress as my work develops and changes.
Talking to other Students and Researchers
I have a tendency to be solitary and dwell on the negatives of any situation. I think talking to other students and researchers on a regular basis will help me keep positive. Sometimes just knowing that others are struggling too, or hearing about ways they motivate themselves will be helpful. I plan to schedule regular catch-ups with other students via MS Teams as appropriate.
Positives of the Week
In my working career, I used to hold a meeting with senior colleagues on a Friday afternoon to record the positives of the week. Sometimes they were difficult to come by but the intention is to leave every working week behind on a positive note.
One Day Off
I plan to have one day off from my PhD work each week to relax and recharge.