How is the new year going for you?

Maybe you set off with ambitious plans for the year which have already fallen by the wayside? If that is you then you are not alone, the second Friday in January is statistically the day when people abandon their new year resolutions!

Maybe you just aren’t sure where to start?  When you have so much to do and the whole year laid out ahead of you it can be very hard to identify priorities and create a plan.

Rather than working in ‘annualized thinking’, I prefer to work in shorter blocks as suggested by Lennington and Moran in the 12 Week Year.  I have shared my adaptation of this model with others and am just gearing up for my next PhD 12 Week Sprint which kicks off on 29th January.

Here are 6 reasons why I think this way of working  is useful for doctoral researchers:  

Clear Focus and Prioritization: Doctoral researchers often think they lack motivation when they actually lack clarity.  The 12-week year model encourages doctoral researchers to identify and prioritize their most important goals and tasks within a shorter time-frame. This clarity helps them concentrate on high-impact activities that contribute directly to their research progress.

Goal Attainment: PhD researchers often have long-term goals that can feel overwhelming. The 12-week year model breaks these goals into smaller, manageable milestones, making it easier to track progress and maintain motivation as they see tangible results in a relatively short period.

Effective Planning and Time Management: Doctoral researchers often struggle with time management. The 12-week year approach encourages detailed planning and scheduling of tasks, enabling researchers to allocate time more efficiently and reduce procrastination.

Accountability and Measurement: The model promotes regular review and measurement of progress. This accountability ensures that researchers stay on track, adjust strategies as needed, and identify any obstacles that might be hindering their progress.

Adaptability and Flexibility: The 12-week year emphasizes adaptability by encouraging researchers to evaluate their goals and strategies frequently. This is particularly useful for doctoral studies, where research direction and challenges can evolve rapidly.

Reduced Burnout and Overwhelm: The 12-week year model prevents burnout by promoting regular breaks and reflection periods. This rhythm prevents researchers from pushing themselves too hard for too long, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being and productivity. 

Click here if you would like to find out more about the PhD 12 Week Sprint: https://emmab.kartra.com/page/phd12weeksprint

Here’s to your success in 2024!

Emma