Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to Get Organized for Life

Getting organized can be very difficult for most people. Appointments, grocery lists, dance classes, work, school, gym, visits, parties and of course cleaning the house, can all get piled up until you just don’t know how you are going to handle it all. Making a few adjustments in your attitude and your daily habits can have you staying organized for life.

1) First, you have to declutter. Choose an area and work on it until it is completely done. This could be something small, like a kitchen counter, or something more substantial, like a closet. There is no skipping this step. You will never get organized if you don’t get rid of the junk. If you tend to save things, you need to set limits for yourself. Don’t keep things longer than a set length of time. If you don’t use it within that time, say six months to a year, then get rid of it.

2) Inevitably, you will want to keep your child’s precious art, or the ticket stubs from your anniversary date. There will be things that come into the house that are special to you. Prepare for that eventuality by designating a “year box” for yourself. Keep it under the bed, in the garage, in a closet, or where ever it can go. Label the box with the year that it is, and keep your mementos there. Force yourself to be choosy and don’t keep things that won’t fit in the box.

3) Have a place for everything that comes into the house.
Do your keys have a place? Does your laptop have a special storage space? Do you have an inbox for mail? Simply having a designated spot for mail can cut down on a lot of clutter. When the mail comes in, stand by the trash or shredder and go through it. Take bills out of their envelopes and throw the envelope away. Put bills that need to be paid in your inbox. Throw away everything that you don’t need and go through the inbox monthly to clear out old or outdated information.

4) Force yourself to follow small rules. You can’t expect to change completely overnight, but you can sort of brainwash yourself into behaving. When you are about to put something down, say aloud what you are doing. “I am putting the mail on the kitchen counter.” By implementing this little strategy, you will be conscious of the fact that you are making your home disorganized. When you put something where it goes, say aloud, “I am putting the mail in the inbox. Good for me!” These silly little positive reinforcements will have your brain trained to do the right thing in no time.

5) Laundry is a huge problem for even organized people. Time yourself when you fold laundry. If you fold it right out of the dryer, it usually takes between five and ten minutes. If you are a competitive person, keep a dry erase board by the dryer. Compete for folding/hanging time with your spouse, kids or just with yourself. Get that positive reinforcement by using wood hangers, like shirt hangers, skirt hangers and dress hangers. Wooden hangers keep clothes spaced nicely and the organized look is a subtle reward for your brain. You will trick yourself into wanting to hang up clothes!

Controlling your small everyday habits will save you so much time that you won’t believe that you didn’t do it before. Make it fun or silly and you will have your habits under control for life.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Motivation for Doctoral Study

The Motivation for Doctoral Study
Understanding Why You Want to Do a Ph.D.

Jul 22, 2007 Alistair McCulloch

Doing a PhD is a huge undertaking. Understanding your motivation will help you succeed and also help your supervisor support you. Five motivations are discussed here.

The Importance of Motivation

‘Doing a PhD is unlike anything else you will ever do. You must be sure you want to do one to succeed.’ That’s the advice any admissions tutor worth their salt will give an applicant for a doctoral degree. In your application form and during an interview, they will want to explore an applicant’s motivation for wanting to ‘do a PhD’.

A PhD student’s motivation can stem from a variety of different sources. Understanding your own motivation for doctoral study is important because it will dictate, in part at least, the type of research degree you study for and your likelihood of success. Understanding your motivation will also help your institution (through your supervisor) support and encourage you in the best way.

There are five main sources of motivation for the research student.

If you are doing a PhD which includes a project related to improving your employing organisation’s performance, then it is probable that you will have at least part of your fees paid and that you may be given time in which to study. The motivation here will be to complete a qualification where failure to deliver could have a potentially negative impact on your career because the qualification is tied so closely into your current occupation. Your project will be highly applied and, once started, and unless you change employer half-way through, you will have a very high chance of successful completion.


A research student whose motivation falls into this category is interested in doctoral study as a way of enhancing their employability. If this is you, you are likely to be as interested in the general skills and broad knowledge that you can pick up along the way as you are in the final qualification and the specific skills you need to complete the doctorate. You want these additional elements that the doctorate can provide as you believe they will make you more attractive to future employers. There is a high chance that you will choose to pursue a professional doctorate.

Career Change

There are a few careers where possession of a doctorate is a pre-requisite. These include university teaching and research scientist. If this is what motivates you, you will want to concentrate on completion of the qualification as quickly as possible and are likely to want to complete a UK-style ‘big-book’ type of thesis. Additional skills training will be valued only as far as it contributes to your planned career path.

Read on

* Improving PhD Completion Rates
* Choosing a Topic for a PhD Thesis
* Where Should I Do a PhD?


A student who pursues a PhD in a topic in which they are already interested and about which they want to know more, is likely to be highly focused on that topic, and will specifically seek the skills they need to complete it. If this is you, you may well be relatively indifferent to the requirements of prescribed generic skills programmes, although you may be motivated to attend for the ‘social’ benefits of meeting with other students. This will be particularly true if you have retired from employment.


If you are taking a PhD primarily as a means of self-development, then you are likely to be what has been trermed a ‘lifelong learner’. The very act of studying is its own motivator and, given the fact that you have studied successfully at the full range of levels prior to commencing doctoral study, you are likely to complete your PhD. However, given your emphasis on the process as much as the qualification, you must be careful not to run out of time.

Concluding Comment

It is true that studying for a PhD is unlike anything else you will ever do. Anything you can do to enhance your likelihood of success should be welcomed. Understanding your motivation will help you do this and also help you to choose your doctoral subject and the type of PhD for which you study.

Note: This article draws on a Guide to Postgraduate Supervision to be published later in the year by the Society for Research in Higher Education. The Guide focuses on Part-time Students and is written by Alistair McCulloch and Peter Stokes.

Read more at Suite101: The Motivation for Doctoral Study: Understanding Why You Want to Do a Ph.D.

The Body Language of Love

Do you find it hard to determine a man's body language and love? Is his body language giving signs that he is into you? How will you determine if it is already love? Body language and love is a game that is not easy to play. However, to play this game better, there are ways of knowing of a guy really likes you.

Body language and love should not be taken lightly. Most men are shy and don't know how to express their true feelings, leaving a girl like you confused and uncertain. There are times when men say one thing, but their actions say otherwise. There is a way of knowing if a guy is really in to you even if he doesn't say it up front to you. However, body language and love are still two different things. Just read his body language and you will know if he feels something more than just friendship. Here are some of them;

• Lifted shoulders - signifies that the guy finds you attractive and has taken on a more compliant side because he has found someone very exciting. This is like cooing over the latest model of sports car or motorbike. In the dating scene, this body language means that the guy is interested in you and wants to know you better.

• Pigeon toes - this toe in body movement means that the person is very much interested in you and is intimated by this feeling. By trying to make the body smaller, the person is showing that he is not threatening and is very harmless in fact.

• Palm up - when a person who is interested in you faces and talks to you, most likely that person will be talking with his palms up. This shows vulnerability and signifies his willingness to be open to you.

• Forehead bow - a person is very in to you when he uses the forehead bow. This gesture is tilting the head a little forward and looks at you under the eyebrows. The tilting head and the bedroom eyes is an old flirt move used by men ever since.

• Genuine Smile - if a person smiles at you with his eyes, then that smile is genuine and only means that he is very interested in you. Chances are, he will hold your glance a little longer, and sending signals that he wants to know you better.

• Eye Contact - if a person looks at you in the eye, look away and then make glances at you again means that he is trying to catch your attention and is very much interested in you.

• Speak very low - men talking to someone they are interested usually talks in lower tone of voice. This is a way of making their love interest to come closer so that she can hear what he is saying.

• Smoothens his hair and clothes - a person is interested in you if he talks to you and he is smoothing his hair or his clothes. This signifies that he wants to look the best in front of you.

Body language and love is somehow interconnected. However, never rush things, slow it down and make sure that what his body language means is love.

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