I had a look at the Coursera-Course “Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity“. It was mostly okay’ish. But there was one aspect that was very interesting, and that was the concept of Strategic Reserve Time.
Strategic Reserve Time
Let’s turn to a concept called Strategic Reserve Time , which is discussed in a book called The Juggler’s Guide to Managing Multiple Projects by Michael S. Dobson.
First, you need to determine the number of hours you have available for work and then identify how much time it takes to perform your basic job functions. The difference between these two figures is time you can devote to special work, such as projects. This is your strategic reserve time.
Coursera-Course “Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity“
The lecturer also provided an example of how to calculate your strategic reserve time:
I think this concept can be applied beautifully (or horribly, depending on the likely result) to the time you have for your PhD thesis (dissertation). At least in some institutes I know of many PhD students have lots of other duties that take huge chunks of time (and energy) from the qualification work. In many cases, they work in projects that are tightly scheduled without a regular work package called “dissertation time”.
So yeah, calculating the time you actually have available for work, tracking the time for administration/organization (e.g., meetings), other duties (incl. teaching — which I like, but yeah, I takes huge chunks of time that is rarely rewarded, and those institutions who do it are worth gold, for lecturers and students), and other requests. And then look at the strategic dissertation time.
It might signal … room for improvement.
Just a thought.