Tips for Graduate Study: Effort is Not the Same as Outcome: The Rocking Chair Strategy

[Video Transcript]

Hello and welcome back!  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz, owner of The Refractive Thinker® Press. Today our focus for Tips for Graduate Study is on our attitude and study habits.

We begin first with our attitude. Let’s be sure to understand the difference between effort and outcome.  There are very few times that I am aware of that we are paid simply for showing up.  Many of us are paid with regard to time—whatever we can accomplish during our work schedule say from 9 am to 5 pm.  Instead, we need to shift our focus from this model to a pay for performance model, for our tasks, for outcomes.

I call this a Rocking Chair Strategy.  While we are busy, busy, BUSY rocking away in our rocking chair, does the chair move forward in any way?  Typically, no.  Instead, we simply appear busy with efforts, not the accomplishment of outcomes.  We are perhaps busy with movement–shuffling paper from point A to Point B–however what do we really accomplish? What do we get done?

Do not confuse efforts with who we are as people.  We are all wonderful human beings.  However if efforts were A’s –we would all get them.  However grades are earned through specific outcomes—meeting grading criteria as established by your respective schools. A’s are not given simply for showing up. *smiles*

Instead of a Rocking Chair Strategy, may I invite you to consider an Outcome Based Strategy instead, where you focus on where you need or want to be and work backwards.

Be sure to review SMART goals as offered by my blog: (4) Leadership: Vision and Goal Setting . . .

Remember effort is not the same as outcomes.  Showing up is not the same as accomplishing something when you are there (achievement).  What do we actually accomplish during our work schedule?  What do we cross off our To Do List that gets done?  Let’s focus less on the action of doing —rocking away in our rocking chair; and focus more on getting things done—outcomes.

For more tips on effective academic study, please visit me at my blog at  Thank you for joining me.  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz and I hope you find these suggestions within this video helpful. Good luck to you in your academic writing pursuits.  Cheers!

With respect,


Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Chief Refractive Thinker®
The Refractive Thinker® Press, where discriminating scholars publish.

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March 7th, 2011 by admin

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