Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A well oiled machine

One of the big life changes I've tried to implement recently is to just get more stuff done while I'm at work. I think most of the astronomy gang would confess that there's a lot of, if not buggering about, at least a lot of "peripheral discussion" and procrastination.

And so I find myself into my third year with lots of ideas in my head - I think my first two years have given me a fairly solid, if not stellar, grounding in my craft. I have many of my own ideas, which I think is really the key to staying afloat in this game, but alas - I'm worried that I'll never have the time to get them done. After all, I need to get some low-risk work out of the door for a guaranteed scientific return, and then write a thesis.

My solution has been to look into one of the latest fads on the internet: the philosophy of "Getting Things Done" (GTD for short). GTD is a huge subject, so I'll save a big discussion of this and just give a brief mention to 43Folders, an excellent blog+podcast series that looks at ways to implement your own GTD system, which can be as simple as making a list of things you need to do, or as mental as developing "ubiquitous capture" procedures for ensuring your brain never misses a trick. Supposedly.

My own "GTD system", if it could be called that is basically a hierarchical list built with OmniOutliner, a *sweet* piece of software that came with my new Mac (kudos to Apple, again), and my trusty Moleskine reporter's pad which now travels with me nearly everywhere. However, I think I've found the ultimate anti-procrastination weapon for the theoretical astronomer. And it's free, and utterly non-complex. My girlfriend made it for me, and it's going to sit on my desk at work [click to see it].

5 Comments:

Blogger I_am_nil said...

I know thats PJEP, but it kinda looks like rumsfeld.

9:24 AM

 
Blogger NPR said...

I want one!!

9:45 AM

 
Blogger jps said...

ditto!

10:26 AM

 
Blogger Kat said...

And it also doubles as a handy coaster! I'm taking orders in time for Christmas (all of my xmas presents will be home-made this year too, whether my family likes it or not), so send me your requests and I'll switch the laminator on.

Previous creations include:

Jack Aubrey window sign
Paint-Your-Own Penne Necklace
Set of 4 Billy Idol Coasters

It's like Blue Peter circa 1974 round at ours!

x

10:35 AM

 
Blogger Rob said...

Yes, and I like to sing the Blue Peter theme tune, with my own lyrics:

"Didle-dee-dee-eee
Get a woman if you can
If you can't get a woman
Get a clean old man...."

1:47 PM

 

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