Research-backed findings

Why we’re studying academic writing practice and how you can help
Why we’re studying academic writing practice and how you can help Thumbnail

We’ve just launched a major study into academic writing practice. It’s research that we hope will give anyone who needs to write evidence-based guidance on how to develop a writing system that works for them. Here’s why we’re doing it and what’s involved.  [click to continue…]

How successful academic writers stay productive with Helen Sword
How successful academic writers stay productive with Helen Sword Thumbnail

Helen Sword is a guru in scholarly writing circles. She’s spent a decade finding out what makes academic writers tick and publishing evidence-based books and articles about various aspects of scholarly writing and publication. Whilst her research has focused on academics, it applies to any writer wanting to smash their writing goals and strike a more balanced relationship with their muse.  [click to continue…]

The planning fallacy: Why you miss your deadlines and how you can stop
The Planning Fallacy

If you’ve ever missed a deadline the planning fallacy may well be the culprit. It’s the tendency we have to underestimate the time it will take us to complete something – whilst knowing full well that similar tasks have taken longer in the past. It’s based in an innate biological bias towards optimism – but if you want stop missing your deadlines and start hitting them, it’s something you need to master – here’s how. [click to continue…]

How writing scholars write: productivity tips from the best of the best
How productive scholars write

How do writing scholars – people who write about writing, teach writing skills and research writing behaviours – get down to write themselves? To find out we spoke to academic Christine Tulley, author of a new and original Paris Review-style book on scholarly writing, How Writing Faculty Write. [click to continue…]

How to be a prolific academic: The writing strategy of superstar scholar, Adam Grant
How to be a prolific academic: The writing strategy of superstar scholar, Adam Grant Thumbnail

It’s official, being a highly prolific academic is the best indicator for scholarly success. Research looking at the careers of 2,800 of the world’s top scientists found that those who published the most papers also had the biggest breakthroughs and accumulated the most prizes. All well and good, but how do you get so prolific in the first place? [click to continue…]

Why time blocking works for writers: investigating the science
Why time blocking works for writers: investigating the science Thumbnail

As a productivity method, we’re huge fans of time-blocking or scheduling. We’ve written before about how it’s essential to top academics like Adam Grant and it’s cropped up in our own research time and time again. But what’s the science behind time-blocking? Why is the act of scheduling important to helping you focus on your work – and what’s the alternative? [click to continue…]

Writing strategies – finding yours, why it matters
Writing strategies – finding yours, why it matters Thumbnail

Everybody writes differently but one thing is the same – the most productive (and least stressed-out) writers have all developed some kind of personal strategy to help them write. This is how you find yours.  [click to continue…]

The surprising creative hobbies of superstar scholars – and what you can learn
The surprising creative hobbies of superstar scholars – and what you can learn Thumbnail

The path to excellence in any field comes through hard graft – that’s true. But research finds that scholars at the very top of their game are also highly prolific, deeply curious, with multiple, unrelated (and often quite bonkers) creative hobbies. So, if you want to be superstar scholar, focus your mind – but never close it. Keep researching, go off on tangents, experiment and play – hundreds of Nobel prize laureates can’t be wrong. [click to continue…]

Deep Work by Cal Newport – book review
Deep Work by Cal Newport – book review Thumbnail

At the time of writing, the top two trending articles on Buzzfeed are: ‘15 Struggles You’ll Only Understand If You’re Obsessed With Cereal’ and ‘The 15 Emotional Stages of Mobile Phone Ownership’. It’s safe to say that Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, hasn’t read either. [click to continue…]

Procrastination, delay and why your emotions matter
expect delays

Everyone wants to beat procrastination – it’s the reason there’s so many productivity gurus, books and blogs. But do we really understand the root cause of our procrastination or even recognise the symptoms for it? Luckily, academics have been studying this topic for years and a lecture by Dr Tim Pychyl uncovers the latest research findings on the origin of procrastination and delay. [click to continue…]