On November 26th, 2020, the RISE workshop “The Productive Researcher” took place. The workshop was based on the third book (“The Productive Researcher”) written by Professor Mark Reed, who is a professor of Socio-Technical Innovation, an award-winning publicist and an expert at training researchers of all disciplines and career stages to become more productive. While working 37 hours a week and never during the weekends, Professor Reed published three books and numerous peer-reviewed papers and he won many grants. How does one manage this? By shifting your view from focusing on tasks to focusing on priorities, linked to your values and identity. By working regularly on your most important priorities, even if only for a small proportion of the working day, you can become increasingly motivated to make time for these priorities, creating a powerful positive feedback loop. Rather than encouraging you to extract ever more productivity from your working life, the emphasis lies on using your new-found productivity to get a better work-life balance, and, by resting well, working even more efficiently. The goal of this workshop was to help the participants with increasing their productivity, being more satisfied with what they produce and enabling them to be happy working less and being more. During this eventful day, participants performed multiple exercises in order to gain more insights in their values, actions and how they could work towards their unique strengths and capabilities. We received a lot of positive feedback from the participants; it was a valuable, educational and productive day.
How did participants experience this day?
“Thursday the 26th of November I joined the online course ‘The productive researcher’ by prof. Mark Reed organized by RISE. The course focusses on the feelings almost every researcher encounters: ‘Is my knowledge adequate? Do I spend enough time on my work? Should I go to that meeting/conference? Am I enough?’ These are questions we probably all ask ourselves, but rarely discuss with our colleagues. During this course, I talked to various people with affiliations from PhD, to lecturer, to professor, and everyone felt insecure about at least one aspect of their working life. This course allowed us to help each other find some handles to tackle or at least manage these insecurities. The openness of conversation during this course was a great experience.” – Dana – PhD student, female
“The Fast Track Impact webinar came just at the right moment for me. It reminded me that being productive is all about reconnecting to your deepest motivations of being a researcher. It was a very positive experience, creating a safe and open environment, where I also connected with interesting colleagues! I came across the RISE organization only recently, but I think this webinar well exemplify and put in practice its goals. Thanks for organizing it!” – Giulia – PhD student, female
“The [morning session of the] workshop emphasized on how productivity can be boosted by setting one’s priorities in line with inner motivations, while also decreasing negative attitudes common to many people. To this end, Prof. Reed combined his personal story-telling with introspection exercises and discussions in smaller groups, in a way that anyone could benefit from this combination. The group discussions were particularly interesting and enriching during the workshop, given the variety of roles and levels of the participants within the university. And of course, it is always nice to exercise one’s empathy. The online format made it accessible for more people, at a cost of restraining most participation to be in a written form. The upside is that it was easy to go back and read people’s contributions.” – PhD student, female
“Dear organizers, Thank you for this initiative. I found it very helpful, and I was clearly not the only one” – Professor, male
“Take at least each working day 30 minutes time to actively work on the activity that relates strongly to your passion. Over the week that builds up to at least two and a half hours … and that makes you happy and makes you feel a really productive researchers.” – Participant, female