I like to think that I’m a pretty efficient guy. For me, “getting it done” (as my brother would say in a parody of one of his friends) is paramount, because in doing so I free up more time to do whatever I want – which is mainly escaping the mundane by reading lengthy fantasy novels or catching up with friends over too many drinks.

However, I am doing a PhD, and one thing that consistently haunts me about research is the amount of reading (that is, non-pleasurable reading) that I need to do just to keep afloat.

Efficient as I am, I still do everything in my power to avoid reading for my studies, even though I love my topic and area of research. Somehow, it still feels like too much work.

Oddly, I only engage with reading proper when I have deadlines, and deadlines require someone to potentially disappoint that isn’t myself. If it were just me, I’d get the best paid crappy job I could find and be done with it. That said, I made the active choice to undertake a PhD so I guess I wouldn’t really do that, would I?

Anyhow, I have a few days without any major temporal commitments coming up, so the plan is to establish an efficient reading programme to follow as the years tick on. I’m thinking that I need to follow three trains of thought in order to make the most out of it:

1) Practice-led
2) Mobile Media
3) Experimental Performance

I think I need to read in that order too, as they interest me most in the reverse listing. I feel like I’ve identified this gap and I just need to make some work and be done with it, but truthfully I need to investigate much deeper and be certain of my originality in order to make an informed contribution. I also realise that I need to write as I read (writing is unproblematic, but academic writing is altogether different) and that if I do the two simultaneously it will feel like less work, but actually generate more work and better material.

So the idea is to be as efficient in my studies as I am in most other facets of life. Once the efficiency is accounted for, I can start building on the effectiveness. As a hard worker, I must feel busy before I can feel useful, so until I master the first, I can’t touch the later.



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