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Staying on Top of the To-Do List

Posted on July 22, 2009

Aude Henin (bio) offers some time-saving pointers for managing the details of a research career.

 

There certainly is a lot to keep up with, and there's a lot of different things to do. I think in terms of how to make sure to stay on top of things, I carve out two hours every day where I write, or I do a presentation, or I do work on a grant, or I review the literature. And I have this time, and it's pretty unchangeable. And I think that's really been a strategy, and that's something that people here had talked about at the CDI and something that I really adopted, and I think that I see other people who are in the field adopting as well.

And I think it's important to do things right away, to not let things languish. So if there's a paper that comes out, it's worth reading immediately, not putting it in a pile and saying "I'll read it next week; I'll read it next month." Even if you at least look at it quickly. Or if there's a conference that you want to go to that's in an area of interest, making sure to sign up right away.

When a journal article comes out, I get that automatically. All the NIH grant opportunities get sent to me automatically, so I don't have to remember to go look. So I think all these little things are really critical. Just being on all the listservs for areas of interest are important. But the listserv that I find very helpful is the one for ABCT, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. It's very helpful.

I'm also on, this is not quite a listserv, but I think a really important thing to be a part of is that NIMH will send you, every week, an update on any new program announcements, RFAs, etc., and that, I think, is something that everybody should do, so you can know exactly when a new policy or a new grant opportunity comes up.

And it's a two-second process to sign up for that. I think receiving all of the alerts from journals for new articles that have come out. Again, something that is very easy, but just very helpful in staying on top of the up-to-date literature.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2009 Career Development Institute for Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh, PA.

References
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies membership and List Serve
NIH Guide LISTSERV

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