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Getting things done, part 1: adaptation

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In my experience, one of the more common things early-career people struggle with is getting things done. Earlier in my career, I had a really difficult time with this myself. For example, after my comprehensive exams in graduate school, I think I went something like a year-and-a-half without finishing any research projects (including a dissertation proposal). Then, when I was in my first job, I think I spent the better part of a year futzing around with a couple of paper drafts--again, not really finishing anything. If these were just struggles that I went through, well they would be just that: an idiosyncratic problem. But in my experience the struggles I faced are pretty common: I've known a number of grad students and early-career faculty members who faced similar issues, especially once they find themselves in full-time faculty jobs where competing demands (teaching, research, and service) really begin piling up. Because so many people I've known have shared these kinds of struggles, I figured it might be helpful to create a new series where I and readers like share tips on how to get things done. In this, the first post of the series, I'm going to briefly share one thing that I've found helpful--and then ask readers to share any specific troubles they face in getting things done that we might discuss in future posts. Anyway, here goes! In this series, I'm going to share quite a few things I've found helpful in getting things done. I won't presume that my tips will work for everyone. We are all different, after all! Still, for all that, my hope is that at least some of you will find the tips I share helpful--and I will encourage readers to share tips that they've found helpful, as well, in case different things have worked for them. Anyway, the first tip I want to share today might sound trite at first. Nevertheless, my experience is that it often really can address a serious problem that early-career people often run. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

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