POST MORTEM – WEEK 2 (7 Secrets)

Week 2 just confirmed week 1’s activities. Lucky me, Monday evening, I was saved by a Seminar – 7 Secrets of Highly Successful PhD Students by Hugh Kearns & Maria Gardiner. I think most postgrad students would have heard of this course.

Hugh giving some explanation.

So I tried changing my routine Tuesday morning, instead of going straight to the office, I went somewhere else to do some reading & logging down my thoughts for the first 2 hours , then head to my office. Guess what, got lots of things written down. A whole lot might be crap, but at least it’s a visible crap to look at and improve on later on.

Some very important tips from the seminar I got were:

2 hours working rule
  • When you first start working every day, you have to spend the first 2 hours on work (reading & writing), before you open your EMAILS, or better still before you go ONLINE! In other words, DO NOT EVER..EVER..EVER go ONLINE before the first 2 hours of quality work is done.
  • In order to sustain that 2 hours, you need perhaps to follow that (10+2)*5 technique or the 30 minutes Unschedule technique or any other technique that suits you, so you have proper breaks & all. But you must not take too long a break, 5-10 minutes would suffice. Please factor in that break time in your 2 hours too.

Writing Log

  • Have a writing or thought log besides your workstation at all time. Jot down everything related to your research, because you might not remember them in the future. You can always polish those ideas later on.

Meeting Tips

  • Meetings with supervisors must be regular and have a specific agenda or else you’ll ended up chatting and lost the original reason for the meeting.
  • Email them your understanding & reflection of the outcome of the meeting, because they might not have the same idea as to what’s the conclusion of the meeting. This avoids future misunderstanding & miscommunications.


  • Ask for specific ones from your supervisors, not a general question of “What do you think about it?” “Is it any good?” Be specific if you wanted an anwer of more that a tick or “It’s fine” or “It’s RUBBISH!”.
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One Response to POST MORTEM – WEEK 2 (7 Secrets)

  1. wani says:

    bestnye dapat info dari tulisan akak ni… sbb hani blur je bile depan supervisor… tak tau tahap independent mane yang sepatutnye kita ikut.. but then, supervisor kate bukan setakat boleh tanya how to do? tanya terus what kind of method…to be specific…. wani ingatkan sume tuh kita kene pk sendiri, takleh harapkn supervisor… :).. kak buku ape tuh.. kasi detail sikit author etc..

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