January 2017 round-up

The start of the year was not bad for me, personally, though the world’s stage is terribly depressing and anxiety-inducing.


My focus for this year is ‘shipping’, which essentially means getting things done and out of the door. To get ready for that, I started the year with a good hard look at my to do list. I moved out things that are not worth my time or energy, prioritised the remaining ones, and ended up with a solid plan for the first four months of the year. I am happy with that.


Here is an overview of what I have been up to this month.



As mentioned in my last report, I started the year with a literature refresh on the topic of social media in the business to business context. I was looking at evidence of use of social media by business to business firms, and what benefits they are able to derive from that use. I collected a few papers, analysed them, and added the findings to those of my previous literature review on this topic.


In addition to that, I have been doing some reading on the topic of digital footprints and of digital representations, in preparation for some writing that I am doing in February and a grant proposal that I am planning.



I am back into a good writing routine, where I manage to do some writing every day. Sometimes, I have big blocks of time dedicated to writing, like tomorrow. Other times, all I manage is half an hour in the early morning, before the kids wake up for school. The latter is less than ideal but, as long as writing is happening and projects are moving, I am happy.


I managed to write and submit a paper in January, for a special issue. In addition, two other papers were submitted by my co-authors – one, a first-time submission; the other, after some revisions had been done to it as a result of comments from the reviewers.



This is my first semester of teaching at Brunel and all is going well. I did not have any major problems with technology, which is always a bonus. And the students are very engaged and come to the class prepared.


I am leading a module on Customer Relationship Marketing, and doing some sessions on an International Marketing module.


I also had several meetings and reviewed documents for two of my PhD students. And I reviewed the application from another possible student.



My regular, long-ish commute to Brunel means that I have been listening to lots of podcasts By the way, thank you for your great suggestions. In one of those podcasts, I learned that Nietzsche suffered from terrible migraines. Trivia, of course; but also, bizarrely, a bit of consolation on a day when I was pushing through a particularly nasty headache.

I have been mostly commuting by bus, only using the car on a couple of occasions. The journey by bus takes me twice as long as the journey by car, which is very frustrating. However, I need to admit that travelling by bus is much less tiring and much more productive than driving to work. This observation made me think that self-driving cars may be very good for commuters’ productivity and even health. Though, there are, of course, serious downsides, such as reduced employment prospects for low skilled workers, or possible discrimination and exclusion due to designs that do not take into consideration the needs of particular groups (e.g., wheelchair users).



What have you been up to, this month?

3 thoughts on “January 2017 round-up

  1. Seem like an exciting start of the year for you, Dr Ana. You really inspire me to schedule more writing time for myself. Despite your long commuting time, you still manage to do so much. I’m really inspired by you. Thank you.


    1. Great to hear from you, Jenn. I have to say that finding 15-30 minutes to write something (even if it’s just ideas for papers or projects I would like to be working on) really helps me feel in control (and motivate myself) when times are particularly hectic.

      If you can’t bear the thought of sitting yet more time in front of a screen, maybe try free writing by hand?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s great idea. I will try it out. Is your new job in Brunel quite permanent? Travelling so far every day to work is not easy, so take care. I look forward to your next monthly update. I find your monthly round-up so interesting and inspiring.


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