Preparing your time schedule
You might find it helpful to produce three time schedules:
- A long term schedule that scopes out your whole literature search. The timings in this schedule will be fairly coarse grain, covering weeks or months at a time.
- A medium term schedule that plans out the next month or so, or from the end of one main deadline to the end of the next.
- A short term schedule for the next week or so, that itemises how you'll be using your time in more detail.
To help you get started, here are some example time schedules:
Now prepare your own time schedule. You might like to consider adding some 'spare time' or 'overflow time' into your timetable in case anything unexpected happens or a particular search takes longer than you anticipated.
Of course, you may prefer to add the short and medium term schedules into your diary. It is useful however to have a separate copy of the longer term schedule to show to your supervisor or perhaps to add to a progress report if required. Once you have completed your time schedule you should present it, along with your search strategy, to your supervisor for feedback before beginning your literature search.Your supervisorshould be able to offer helpful guidance orpoint out things that you may have missed.
If you find that you are completely unable to stick to your time schedule then start again and re-do the schedule so that it is more realistic, either by giving yourself more time to source the literature, reducing the amount of literature that you want to retrieve or reducing the scope of the search.