What is the key to success as a researcher?

To succeed as a researcher you need to do certain things regularly. You need to keep your lab book up to date, write things down as you are doing them so that all the essential details are correct and you don’t forget. You want to write up your results at the end of the day,  summarise your research papers. Fill in you’re training log regularly. Write down your research tasks daily in your planner.

What you need to do to be a good researcher is not rocket science. Ask your supervisor or someone who is an excellent student in the year above you. But knowing is not enough you must do to succeed. Knowledge is potential power but its regular action gives you results.

The biggest reason people fail is that they don’t stick to what they know they should do. And they don’t keep doing it. Lifting weights or exercising once in while won’t make you strong and fit. You must make it a routine to have the strength and fitness that you can be proud of. This is obvious, isn’t it. So why don’t people do it.

How do you find the way to keep doing it?

If your goal is to write a 1,000 words or write up your experiment in the evening. The vital key to forming a habit is not how many words you write or how much exercise you do but whether you do it at all.

The key is to start. That’s the hardest part for me. I have so many distractions that starting is the hardest part. However once I get going then I know I’ll finish. My momentum just carries me over the finishing line.

The most powerful key to forming a habit is to start each day. 

If you want to write a 1,000 words just get your notebook and pen and start writing. Don’t wait until you feel like wriitng. If you want to walk for exercise just get your trainers on and step out of the front door and go.

Just start and you’ll get good at doing what  needs to be done.

Sometimes you know that you must do something but don’t feel like doing it. You face resistance. You don’t feel like writing. You don’t want to exercise. What do you do?

Why don’t you start? 

You may be watching TV and its nice and comfortable. Forcing yourself to write in your lab book is painful. We all seek pleasure and comfort and avoid pain and discomfort. It is human nature.

It’s harder to start than keep doing what you are currently doing. To exercise you need to get your kit on, get in the car, drive 3 miles, get out of the car, get changed, warm up, exercise, have a shower, get changed and drive all the way home. It’s too hard and takes too long. I’m busy and have loads of urgent and important things to do now. I’ll do it later. If you think like that you’ll never exercise.

How do you get started?

Make it really, really easy to start. It should be easier that what you’re doing now. How do you make it easy?

Focus on the first smallest thing you have to do. To exercise just step out of the house. To write just get a pen and write anything. Even if its crap just write. When things are easy then you won’t have any barriers to starting. Do it wherever you are. Start with the easiest most simplest step. Make it easy to start and hard not to start. To exercise, get your shoes on and get out of the door. Once you are outside it’s easy to keep walking.

Learn to enjoy it. Once you love it you’ll want to keep doing it. Don’t miss a day. Do it everyday.


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  1. […] more here: What is the key to success as a researcher? | Nanotechnology … Share in social […]

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