I have made a wonderful discovery which has revolutionised my working methods… and it’s something I thought I’d never embrace. I’m the sort of person who has to finish one book before they start another and always completed one project before working on something else. The problem is, PhD’s don’t tend to progress in a naturally chronological way. You have to flit between areas as you find more information on one particular area or get really excited about a particular aspect of your research. For someone who describes themselves as an illogical person (I once took a test in school that showed my mind does not think logically or use logic to answer problems, absolute truth! It did however show that I was very visual, spacial and creative), this way of working has sometimes seemed at odds with this. I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on it. What has recently evolved in my work has, however, increased my productivity and I’m strangely at ease with this new way of working… let me tell you what it is:
Flitting. Yes, simply flitting between tasks. My windows word system now has, as I’m typing, four documents open which I’m going between, working a little on one then hopping to another. As my concentration begins to slip or I hit a wall with one area, I minimise one document and open up another and carry on. Just like that. I’m sure some people may find the prospect of this horrific. Truth be told, if you’d told me two years ago I’d become a ‘flitter’ I’d have given you a mortified and startled look. Yet this has become an exceptionally useful way for me to work. It just shows that whilst you may think you are stuck in your ways, sometimes there’s still room to manoeuvre! Let’s hope it keeps working….