How many hours would you say you work a week? We've talked a lot about managing workloads lately on our blog, from imagining an alternative academic career to productivity hacks, but we all tiptoe around the topic of actual working time and the harsh realities of working flexibly. This topic holds a particular interest to me as my PhD is on flexible work, … [Read more...] about Working 5 to 9: how many hours are enough?
Researchers in popular culture have not only kicked arse and saved the world but have also worn brilliant cardigans Inspired by the 20th anniversary of the cultural touchstone that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and trust that the author says this in all seriousness), this post is dedicated to celebrate the awesomeness of research - and the awesomeness of … [Read more...] about A Critical Ka-Pow – Researchers in popular culture
Our in-depth interview with full time consultant and entrepreneur, Rob Johnson continues. Last week we focused on the early days of creating a consultancy company. This week, we learn more about the ingredients for success in this sector. - You often work with other freelancers and indeed with academic consultants. Can you describe the ideal … [Read more...] about Consultancy reflections: An interview with Rob Johnson, founder of Research Consulting, Part 2
Some academics do seem to be wedded to their research, but let’s leave the marriage metaphors aside. This post is all about choosing which academic work commitments you say ‘yes’ to. At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post on why it was important to be able to say ‘No’. It is a way to create some kind of balance, a way to … [Read more...] about Before you say Yes: 3 questions to ask yourself (And I’m not talking about marriage!)
Continuing the theme of consideration, self-care, and work-life balance, I would like to share with you my experience of #PhDlife overload which I encountered last term. As a PhD student with high ambitions and an equally high mortgage payment, I have tendency to say 'yes' to most things and up until now it has served me well. By saying 'yes' and having … [Read more...] about What I learned when I took on too much: I am not a PhD superhero
Last week, I wrote about two positive types of busy, but this week I am reflecting on the kind of "busy" that can really lead to problems. How do you know that you or a colleague or friend are experiencing the wrong kind of busy? Slogging busy Sometimes hardly distinguishable from the standard busy days, except perhaps by your level of motivation! It feels … [Read more...] about ‘I’m busy’ part 2: it’s a problem
Following on from Kathy's recent post on why you might have to be brave to say 'no' sometimes, I want to reflect a bit on busy-ness and how it can help if it's a good kind of busy, or if it isn't, then it leads us into needing to say 'no'. I am nearly always busy, and of course it's the standard answer these days when you ask someone how they are. They … [Read more...] about ‘I’m busy’ part 1: good kinds of busy
As we begin 2017, perhaps some of you will have taken a seasonal break from your work. Or perhaps you worked right through: it can be hard to take time out from research and academic life. Some of you might be making New Year's resolutions and perhaps one of them might be to think of your work-life balance. With this in mind, our blog is taking a look at … [Read more...] about Saying No: Why it’s important to be brave
This year has seen a lot of focus in the press on issues of precariousness in employment for early career researchers, many of whom are seeking a way out of precarity. In the last quarter of this year, our blog has looked a lot at the career options available to those who finish their PhD. Career paths are a theme close to the core mission of piirus.ac.uk … [Read more...] about Why researchers might want a way out of precarity
Managing clients is a key component of successful academic consultancy. In the first of two posts this week, our very own experienced consultant Andrew Clappison sets out a number of pointers to help you avoid common pitfalls on managing new client relationships. Avoiding such pitfalls will save you time and face, and ensure the relationships you are forming … [Read more...] about Tips and tricks for managing new clients as an academic consultant (Part 1 of 2)
I work from home full time and I'm very happy with the arrangement, but there are some pitfalls. Time flies so quickly, even when you have the luxury of an empty house and no commute. So where does all the time go?! Housework distractions. For example, before you sit down to work for the day, you might put a load of dirty laundry into the washing … [Read more...] about Working at home: where does all the time go? 5 hazards to watch out for!
This is sometimes really difficult to do gracefully, tactfully and indeed, successfully! It is also a really great time management technique, and for all that we like to say "yes", and piirus.ac.uk is all about networking and collaborative research, we do know that sometimes you have to say "no". I really like this post from the Athene Donald blog on this … [Read more...] about How do you say “no”? 11 approaches you can try!
Our guest blogger, Amanda Ullman is a paediatric nurse, ICU nurse and researcher, as well as a mum and PhD student. In this post she shares tips for integrating work and life together. Like many other stories we were told as children, it turns out the grown-ups were lying: there is no such thing as work-life balance. Technology has changed the nature of … [Read more...] about The Loch Ness monster, the tooth fairy and work-life balance: Myths we need to get over!
As my fellow correspondent Ian wrote for Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo on Twitter), we each appear to have our ideal place in which to write. Personally, I feel deeply indebted to cafes around Nottinghamshire, the UK and beyond, for the completion of my doctoral thesis. Because unlike Ian, I find it pretty much impossible to write at home – or, in … [Read more...] about #AcWriMo. Why I don’t write at home, from our Social Science correspondent