Screennshot of SWWDTP Training Self & Time Management_attendees in video conference

Priorities, time and self-management

At the end of May we held an online training day for our SWWDTP researchers hosted by Jamie McDonald. The focus was on priorities, time and self-management. The session looked at how people can manage their time and work-life balance with greater awareness and choice, and with less distraction and time wasting.

The feedback from this training was overwhelmingly positive. While each participant took away different elements of value, this response encapsulates much of what the day offered:

I learnt many new skills today including recognising what is important in my life, recognising that I am a perfectionist, and the skills I need to stop that from holding me back. I plan to apply the latter skills to all of my future work by working out how much time a task will take me, and planning for that. But perhaps more importantly, I plan to be far more aware of my overall priorities in my everyday activities whether work or not.

Meeting online in a time of distance and connecting to others in similar situations was a bonus:

It was also great to meet fellow students in lockdown times.

The intended outcomes of the workshop were that participants would:

  • Have learned how to use tools for assessing work-life balance
  • Have developed a personalised approach to prioritisation
  • Have explored their current distribution of time and energy
  • Have tools for improving their use of time and energy

The value of the training appeared to reach well-beyond the simple remit of time-management. This is feedback sums up what many participants mentioned:

This training course has helped me to recognise why I struggle with time management in an extremely productive way, by looking far beyond the immediacy of individual tasks. It has helped me to feel confident and empowered not only about my research, but my ability to live well.

We would like to thank Jamie McDonald for hosting this training. It proved to be very popular and was of great value to those attending.

Getting the job done: overcoming procrastination

The Priorities, time and self-management training was swiftly followed by a second day that complemented and followed on from the first, this centred on overcoming procrastination. Like the day before, this session was run by Jamie McDonald.

This course was designed for those who want to get on with what they’ve set out to do, but who may also have perfectionist tendencies, take on too much, are scared of mistakes or feedback, or who find it difficult to take the first step.

The intended outcomes for the day were to bring a greater awareness of choice to those tricky situations. This particularly focussed on:

  • Awareness of behaviours that can trip you up
  • Gaining a better insight into reasons for these behaviours
  • Having access to a range of approaches that can be used to get back into action
  • Identifying a set of practices to use back in the workplace

One SWWDTP researcher who attended commented that:

I learned how we invent destructive rules for living to avoid confirming fears about ourselves, the importance of visual imagery in reframing our approach to procrastination, and the variety of reasons for procrastination that all work together to sabotage progress.

The day proved to be a success with all respondents indicating that they found the training both well run and useful in supporting their research. With thanks to Jamie McDonald for hosting this session.

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