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04
30
2020

Towards progressive deconfinement: what do we want to keep from this experience?

Ilaria Orsi, Caroline Betto-Colliard, Denis Billotte, CUSO

A new phase seems to be on the horizon: we are all going to have to reorganize our lives and our routine once again. Nothing is certain, except that we still have a good opportunity to exercise our thinking... And many of us may be able to pick up on some of the experiences we've had during this period.

At CUSO we have begun to reflect on our practices around planning workshops, communicating with colleagues and promoting our initiatives. What do we want to transform, simplify, rethink or retain?
We're sure that this process is also on your minds and we'd like to know more. Tell us what you have learned over the past month and a half, but also what you have appreciated or regretted in our handling of the situation! You can do this by commenting on this article (link at the bottom of the page) or by sending us a message directly to competences@cuso.ch.
While waiting for your response and in order to encourage you to make the most of the skills consolidated during these last few weeks, we would like to offer you some ideas on what it would be good to keep with you beyond this period.

  • Best practices :
    • Everyone is now even more comfortable with Skype, Zoom or Jitsi: in the coming months you could easily contact colleagues, experts and thesis directors through these platforms. At any time, you can browse our tips for optimizing video conferencing meetings;
    • To-do lists help to get to the end of the day unscathed, and manage to juggle between shopping, video conferences, emails, children...: they are an efficient way to free yourself from the huge mental load, and could be useful when organizing a conference or your thesis defence. Some tools available online: todoist; any.do; Tick Tick...;
    • Solitary brainstorming to move forward on your thesis (or in life): keep this habit and do not forget to constantly nourish your creativity by putting your thoughts in black and white, whatever the form! Soon we will publish tips to optimize your brainstormings!
       
  • The tools :
    • Your new domestic workspace, which has been set up on the spur of the moment, and which, perfected and tamed over the days, has become one of the most lively corners of your home. Believe us, it will be indispensable to you for the final stretch before you submit your manuscript!
    • The directory of resources for the development of your career available online: https://academiac.net/2020/04/21/online-resources-for-phd-students-career-development-during-covid-lockdown/. Keep it preciously!
    • To discover a wide range of tools to boost your productivity, we recommend that you attend the mini-workshops organized by the Transversal Program until the end of the semester: news will be published on Thursday on the following page: https://competences.cuso.ch/activites. The Smart Productivity Workshop on Tuesday, April 21 with Maura Hannon was a great start!
       
  • Reflections :
    • During these weeks you have been obliged to reorganize your time and to follow a very dense schedule between family life and work. You did not always manage to meet the deadlines? Good news: any exception to the rule, clumsiness, failure has fuelled your flexibility and strengthened your spirit of adaptation.
    • Meditate on your ability to reinvent yourself: how can this experience translate into skills?

We look forward to your comments!