Class 12: Project Management

Methodology of Scientific Research

Andrés Aravena, PhD

May 12, 2022

Managing time is managing yourself

One day you may be the head of a lab (or department, or company, or organization)

You will need to decide

  • What to do
  • How to do it
  • When to do it

But if you are not the boss, you still need to make the same decisions

Why is good to organize your time

  • More free time
  • Better free time
  • Better mood
  • Better health
  • Better self-esteem
  • Professional success

Good practices

This class is based on several books

GTD Bujo maketime pomodoro silvia

We can only show the main ideas of each one

Getting Things Done

This is the essential book


All the other books make reference to this one

First published in 2001, updated in 2015

Biased to business, but useful in other contexts

Core process

  1. We capture what has our attention
  2. We clarify what each item means and what to do about it
  3. We organize the results,
  4. We reflect on the options, and choose what to do
  5. We engage on doing

The trick is in the details

“Mind is for having ideas, not storing ideas”

Anything that is pending or incomplete can be a source of stress

The recommendation is to put everything out, in a system that you can trust

The Inbox

We should put everything that calls our attention in one place

(or very few places)

  • A physical “In Box” in the desk
  • The email inbox
  • WhatsApp/Messenger/Messages/Signal/Hangouts/LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram
  • Other channels that are forced on you (AKSIS)

Many inboxes leads to many ways to miss something important

Step 1: Capture

GTD recommends starting by putting everything in a physical inbox

Even printing the emails you have in your email

I prefer to keep separate digital and physical inboxes

Collecting everything is hard the first time, but later becomes a habit

Step 2: Empty the Inbox

In other words

  1. We clarify what each item means and what to do about it
  2. We organize the results,
  3. We reflect on the options, and choose what to do




2 minutes rule







Using Google Tools

We need good practices, because

our mind fools us

We think we will never forget, but we do

“I remember it now, therefore I will remember it forever”

When we see something or learn something, this fact is present in our short-term memory and we feel like we will always remember it

Solution: Use a journal (or lab notebook, or blog)

We think our memories correspond to facts, but often they do not

“Things were exactly as I remember”

Research shows that our memory is not at all a “recorder”

We misremember a lot

Solution: Use a journal

We are bad at estimating projects’ complexity

We think that we can finish a project in less time that it will really take

Solution: Write in your journal how much time you worked every day.
Reflect on how did you use your time

We think that everybody knows what we know, so they do not need explanations

“I understand it, so everybody understands it”

This is the curse of knowledge

It is the main reason why our text is hard to read

Solution: still trying to figure out. Practice.

We think that everything we do is easy

“I’m not really that good, and one day they will realize I don’t know anything”

We learn a little every day, so it never feels hard

But we accumulated learning in a large period,
and it is hard to see how much we have learned

This leads to Impostor Syndrome

Solution: Look at your journal and reflect on how much have you learned in the last year

We don’t know that we don’t know

“Incompetent, and unaware of it”

This is the Dunning-Kruger effect

It is hard to improve if we don’t know we are bad

Be open to criticism of your work

You are not your work

Bullet Journal

For the things that do not work in the computer


Published initially on YouTube, the book came later

Most YouTubers do it wrong: they focus on decoration

The important thing is to use it.

Live Intentionally

Necessary tools

Parts of the Journal

  • Index
  • Future Log
  • Monthly Logs
  • Daily Log
  • Collections

Daily Log

These are the bullets

  • Tasks
  • Events
  • Notes

This is an Inbox

Write it through the day

Key idea: Migration

As in GTD, there is a time for reflection

Early or late every day we:

  • Write or underline the important events of the day
  • Close all completed bullets
  • Migrate pending tasks
    • Next daily log
    • Monthly log
    • Future log

Monthly migration

Future log

Alternative Future log