Last week we looked at how we begin all the amazing work that’s done in our disparate fields. I began by mentioning how much I enjoy learning about systems and how people figure out what they’re doing in the first place. That being said, all the preparation in the world comes to naught if the work doesn’t actually get done. This week that’s precisely the focus: the work.

“How I Work” is a series going into its third year over at Dr. Eva Lantsoght’s PhD Talk blog. Dr. Lantsoght is currently a professor in Ecuador but returns to the Netherlands each summer for research. She also reviews death metal, in case you’re looking for some background #AcWri music. Anyway, her long-running ‘How I Work’ collection includes nearly 80 interviews at the writing of this post. Browsing through them you’ll likely find interviews by people you know, at least in passing or via Twitter (I know I did). Curious about the computer setups other academics use? That’s in there. Wondering about the sleep schedules of doctoral students across the globe? Got that, too.

“Of course, it was inspired by Lifehacker,” Eva told me, when I asked her about her motivation for running such a fascinating interview series (which has a distinctively familiar feeling, being a writer here at ProfHacker). I’m a big fan of the Lifehacker series, myself, so when I discovered Eva’s interviews my initial reaction was one of relief: I personally think it’s interesting to see how CEOs and media figures work but it’s infinitely more useful to see how folks in related fields the same — and there is no shortage in her collection.

For equally entertaining and inspiring content, be sure to check out the final question in each interview: “What’s the best advice you ever received?” Trust me on this one. Again, you can find all of her ‘How I Work’ series on her blog, PhD Talk. You should also follow her on Twitter.


Next week we’ll conclude this brief “How I…” series with a look at what happens when all our preparation and all our work don’t end the way we’d hoped. Here’s a little spoiler from Eva’s collection of interviews, no less.

What about you? How do you work? Let us and Eva know in the comments!

[CC-0 image by Unsplash user m0851.]