…errrrrrm, well maybe not
You see, the post title certainly doesn’t lie but it happend completely by chance and it certainly is not a secret. Nevertheless, I learned a great lesson about effective work management that I’ve applied again and again with great results.
Ok, so here we go. Basically I was writing a literature review and I had come to a point when I needed some corrections. Although it was the end of the day I sent my draft to a supervisor for them to look over, not really expecting them to go through it until the following day. What I failed to remember was that my supervisor had just gone to a conference and was actually in a different time zone. When they received my draft it wasn’t the end of the day for them, it was just mid-morning. They were able to find time to read through and correct my draft while I was asleep that night. When I woke up, I had a whole batch of new corrections and fresh ideas to work on. Simple as that right?
How can you benefit from this? After all, that was a bit of a fluke
Yes I was very lucky in this case but what happend to me highlights a very important point. If you are collaborating with anyone on a writing project, the work will get done more efficiently if your working times complement each other. It is incredibly important to know when your collaborators are going to be too busy to do meaningful work on your literature review, and when they have a lot of free time to devote just to you. Just knowing when they are busy is very important, but it’s only half the battle.
Try and work out a way to accomodate each others working timetable and styles to make them complimentary. From my perspective, and probably yours as well, this means trying to be more flexible with working hours. Quite an easy way I found to do this was to set deadlines for submitting work just at the point when my supervisors were becoming free. My supervisors also tended to work pretty much 9-5. I found that by offsetting my work day, either earlier or later made a huge impact on how quickly corrections were made and work got done. It meant that I would receive corrections and have time to work on them the same day, then send them back so that my supervisors could read them again quickly. This builds up a lot of momentum and it meant that the literature review was always fresh in everyone’s mind.
Have a think about how you can get the most out of collaborations by offsetting your working hours. If you found this useful, please leave nice comment below. If you didn’t find this useful, please leave a nasty comment below