I have also found GTD very helpful for my research. I think "banning yourself" from conferences for a year is a very bad idea. Where do you think your motivation comes from? A significant part comes from contact with colleagues, exchanging ideas, realizing that you have opportunities, you have competitors, and so on. At any given time, I have a pipeline of research going on. Roughly speaking, there is stuff in someday/maybe, R&D, writing, and publishing. Right now I have two manuscripts in preparation, a project with a former student about to move into writing, and two projects with 2nd-year grad students that are in the R&D phase. I have a number of ideas that are in an early R&D phase, and a good-sized someday/maybe list. Obviously, R&D and writing take the most effort. I have two modes of writing: Sometimes I am trying to write alone at home in the early morning for at least an hour. At other times, I am writing at work with a collaborator. In either case, I find that the maximum time I can write on a single project is about an hour and a half, unless of course I am pushing towards a final manuscript on deadline. I've tried pomodoro, and I find it doesn't work very well for me. I do find that thinking of research projects as being in a pipeline is very useful. I think often people don't finish projects because they are afraid of what comes next: "I'll never have another good idea" or "I'll have to learn something new" or "The project after this will be boring" or other negative self-talk. Keeping the pipeline full means there is always new stuff to do, and you have a certain amount of freedom on a day-to-day basis if you keep things moving on average.
Originally Posted by mattjans
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