Do you have a Go-Bag?

Dear Too Busy Person—

No one plans to fail; we simply fail to plan. Have a long term project you are working on? Be your own Project Manager. An effective strategy–whether student or author (or both!) is to prepare a Go-Bag. What is a Go-Bag? I’m glad you asked. Read on. .

The military uses a Go-Bag strategy to have a bag prepared with all essentials to deploy on a moments notice. If something happens –and quick response is needed–there is no time to pack. The goal is to grab an already packed Go Bag and well . . . go!

Let’s take advantage of this effective strategy and prepare your Go-Bag to include things you can work on while you are on-the-go. A simple dedicated back pack or larger bag will work nicely.

Think of all the pockets of free time you might have throughout your day. If you work on the train, if you carpool, if you are waiting for a doctor or dentist appointment, if you are waiting in line at the DMV, if you are on your break or lunch hour, or if you are waiting for a sports event for your spouse/significant other/child(children). You might be amazed at the chunks of wait or downtime you might have throughout the course of your day where you could sneak in a bit of work here and there. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. If we are better organized, we might not have to stay up late into the wee hours of the morning to finish things we might be able to do throughout our day. Plan to succeed!

Hint: Research says that shorter bursts of activity are far more efficient where you will get more done in less time anyway. Let’s take advantage of the research!

What kinds of things might you put in your Go-Bag?

1. Your Time Management System. (I go to the Dollar Store at the end of every year to pick up my new month-in-a-view calendar–for $1!!; I recommend having one for your personal life, one for your projects, and one for the family). Oh–but Doc C get with the program and new technology is far more efficient. Is it? Are you sure?

“I have this schedule in my computer or my phone,” you reply.

Yes, BUT–what happens if either your phone is not charged or dies or your computer is not charged or it dies–while you’re on the go? I once had one of these tech driven systems only to have it stuck in my computer where I couldn’t access for 3 weeks while my computer was being fixed. (I didn’t know where I was supposed to be!). So, yes, ole Doc C went old school. For $1, my calendar is always with me, on planes, trains, and automobiles–never needs batteries or a charge. I’m just saying.
2. Your APA Manual (or format manual – Chicago Style, MLA, Turabian, etc)
3. Your Project Outline or progress plan (Term plan, ISP, PM–“A rose is a rose as our friend Shakespeare will remind us!)
4. Articles to read and review? Yes, I’m about to suggest printing a few of these or ensuring you upload the .pdf file to your phone or eReader (Kindle or Nook). This takes a bit of planning, but can be a real time saver as one can sneak in reading time throughout your day and down times–more than you may realize.
5. Checklist or (To Done List!) for you to capture things that you think of throughout your day. Sometimes, when we are distracted by other things, our minds continues to hum along and we need to have something to write with (and quickly!) when the EUREKA! moment might strike

6. THIS IS THE BIG ONE! BACK UP PLAN!!! PROTECT WHAT YOU DO with some kind of back up system. If you bring your Tablet or work on your phone or ???, be sure to always BACK UP YOUR WORK. You want to ensure that you can take advantage of this efficient planning and use of your time so as not to have to repeat when you get home.

Preparation is key . . .

If you simply take a few minutes to create the Go-Bag, and then the night before you make sure all of these items are ready to go, you can simply add this bag to your routine and always have something to do to move your forward on your graduate capstone, dissertation, or book writing project. Work smarter, not harder.
Just like the Scouts of America—follow their motto–BE PREPARED! You’ll thank me later.

My best to your success,

Dr. Cheryl Lentz
The Academic Entrepreneur

May 3rd, 2019 by admin

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