20 May 2007

A collection of miscellaneous notes on the Fisher Files

I finally finished listening to all 13 of the Fisher Files podcasts. Here are some notes on points that I found particularly interesting.
  • Project is defined as a series of next actions and a "done" state
  • Schedule time for interruptions
  • Job of a scientist (particularly postdocs and faculty) is to share ideas with people, go to seminars, and basically talk to people
  • When you acquire a new tool or piece of technology, put in the effort to read the manual. In order to use any tool well, you have to invest the time.
  • Don't be shy about delegating "crap" tasks to other people; you need the time to do more important things. Research is a team effort.
  • Use an alphabetical filing system
    1. Divide current files into research A-Z and non-research A-Z
    2. Once a year, clean out current files and move them to archives A-Z
  • Make a folder (physical or digital) of important, fundamental papers in your field
  • If you are having a meltdown, make a list of what is causing you anxiety. Then decide to let one or more of the items go. Embrace mediocrity; look at what you can get away with doing badly. Having meltdowns happens to everyone. You can't prepare for it; you can only get through it. After the meltdown, be sure to think about why it happened and if you could have avoided it. Then do a weekly review and move on.

I omitted most of the GTD-like stuff, since I have already discussed quite a bit about that topic in this blog.

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