April 2015 round-up

April is high up on my list of months that just flew by. Seriously, where did the last 30 days go? April was also a month of contrasts: highs and lows, fast and slow, noise and silence… It was a month that gave me a lot to think about, as I was preparing my monthly report (a practice that I started during my PhD and which I find really helpful to reflect on what I achieved, and the barriers that I faced or self-imposed, and to reconnect with my path) and this round-up post.

Looking back through my 5pm pictures, I notice a change in pattern. I did not find myself outdoors more often than in previous months, as I expected. But I did find myself sitting at my desk more often than in previous months. And, on two occasions, I was just relaxing – marvellous!

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This month’s highlights are summarised below. I look forward to hearing yours.

Researching

I have been developing (with colleagues) two questionnaires, which has been a very long process. It is not just about coming up with the questions. We need to check the wording so the questions are neither confusing nor leading. We need to rethink the order of the questions to make it as effortless as possible for the respondent. We need to keep it short but achieve insight. Phew…

Writing

04 30I have been working on two papers: one on social media data, and the other one on the use of digital technology in SMEs. I was hoping to have very good drafts of both papers, by the end of the month, but that just did not happen. I have been struggling with the second paper in particular, because I have some doubts about the core message of the paper. I.e., because my thinking is muddled, my writing is blocked. Luckily, this is a co-authored paper, which means that I can discuss my doubts with others.

This month, I also had one paper rejected and one requiring revisions. I was quite disappointed by the rejection, to be honest, but later realised that, at least, now I have really useful, actionable feedback that I can use to improve the paper. #GlassHalfFull

Teaching

No teaching this month, again. But I learned what I will be teaching when I am back from the sabbatical, and I am really happy to be going back to teaching a specialist module that is close to my research interests.

Learning

I had several conversations this month (about professional activities and plans) that taught me that there is very fine line between ‘having multiple interests’ and coming across as ‘random’ or ‘lacking in direction’. And I also learned about this really interesting TED talk, arguing that a good idea is more like a network with many different connections, than a break-though moment (and deriving some implications about the design of spaces, collaboration, side-projects, etc):

What were April’s highlights for you?

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