PhD programs can be exhausting. It is easy to forget that we're people, with things outside of academia that need to get done. Some of us have big lists, some small, but all of us have things that we need to make sure get done in order for us to be able to work. Sometimes these things are a welcome break from work, but most of the time they are just things that need to be done.
I dislike cooking. I hate housework. So these things tend to be viewed in my house as chores as in the second definition:
I find having set days helps- Friday is my day for grocery shopping and Saturday is for housecleaning, which usually is defined as just get rid of enough dog fur so people don't think I'm a wackadoodle hermit.
But as I vacuumed and did laundry today, I started to think about the housekeeping that is involved in writing a dissertation. Organizing and keeping track of a hundred different things is a vital part of being successful in your dissertation (or so I've read). So I thought I'd share here some of the things I've used.
As I've written before, I'm a visual person, so while my office may appear cluttered, it all has a place.
My desk is where I spend the majority of my time, and everything is organized so anything I might need is within easy reach.
I use a lot of technology to keep track of stuff (OneNote for class stuff, and comp reading, Google Docs for lists I can access anywhere, Dropbox for much the same) but when I'm thinking things out, I like hand written, easy to see items. So the other wall in my office looks like this:
I have tried to limit myself to only buying books I know I will use consistently in my career.
Four years ago when I first decided to seriously pursue a PhD (and three years before I actually did), I optimistically bought a notebook and labelled it "Thesis". I would jot notes in it, print out images and glue them in.
So that's my dissertation housekeeping- what's yours? What do you use to stay organized and sane?