The Ultimate Productivity System for Researchers

Achieve amazing productivity and reduce your stress levels in 7 weeks by implementing the productivity secrets that allows management consultants and high-performing industry teams to generate results quickly.


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If you've been working in research for a while, then you also know how frustrating it can be.

Despite your best efforts and the long hours you are putting in, your projects just don't seem to move forward as fast as they should be. Heck, at the end of some weeks, you are wondering if you are making progress at all!

Sure enough, there are people, whose projects just seem to just fly along: generating result after result, the next paper coming together seemingly nice and easy. And you're wondering when this is going to happen to you or if this could happen to you at all.

It's not like you're not busy - you're working on your projects day in, day out. Not to mention: you've got lots of ideas for experiments you would like to pursue, a growing stack of papers to be read, the presentation for the next meeting to be prepared, lots of emails to be answered. If you only had more time to begin with!

And you worry about your career: Everybody knows about the odds of making it in academia. Sure, there are amazing careers waiting in industry, consulting, publishing - you name it. Scientists turned entrepreneur are making headlines. But with your projects moving along as they are, you are wondering if you can make your mark against the competition, stand out of the crowd. You are asking yourself, if you have the skills you need to succeed out there.

You are not alone. A recent survey among graduate students by Nature magazine revealed that 55% of early-stage researchers are concerned about their work-life balance and worry about their futures.

Is this how it is supposed to be?

I get it. I've been there myself. Now - after having worked as a management consultant for more than 10 years - I know that there is a different way.

You can do it too!

You don't need to become a management consultant to master these skills!

Imagine, if ...

... you had clarity on where you projects are headed and where you stand at any time,

... you approached your projects in a manner allows you to consistently generate results every 2-3 weeks,

... you communicated with your supervisor, colleagues and collaborators that engages them and gets them aligned with your goals,

... you knew exactly what to do every day to take you the biggest step forward,

... had a system in place that adapts to your working style and that you can use for all kind of projects.

Yes, you can do it!

Will your productivity system be perfect from week one? No, of course not. Transforming your productivity does not happen over night. It's a journey that will take effort and dedication. It's not a miracle, but a skill that you are building. But you don't have to figure it out all by yourself.

 

3 Reasons why improving your productivity should be a priority for you


1. Get more results

With clarity comes focus and consistent focus translates into results. Knowing where to put your efforts and getting the most out of every day will get you more results. No doubt about it. Of course you will still have to deal with the unexpected, experiments that don't work and competitors publishing before you do. Hey, it's research after all. Accept it. However, being more productive allows you to make the difficult decisions faster and to bounce back from setbacks more quickly.


2. Reduce your stress levels

Once you stop spinning your wheels day in and day out, the stress that has been with you disappears. We all know about the consequences of chronic stress both on your body and your cognitive ability.


3. Strengthen the foundation for your career

More and more job descriptions mention time and project management skills as important. Not only that, once you got the job, they often make the difference between successfully transitioning to the next level or getting stuck where you are, the difference between standing out and being a face in the crowd, between achieving balance in your life and burnout.

Success stories from our members

Birko

Taking this course has given me back my confidence that I can finish my PhD. I had lost my optimism about completing it in a satisfactory manner.

Thomas

My mindset towards project management has changed a lot. I thought it was hot air but after the course I realize it is a powerful tool!

Tamara

” I feel more productive, as the days run more smoothly, as I identify challenges and obstacles in advance, allowing me to plan in more time for the unexpected. Consequently, unexpected things are less stressing and late working hours reduced.

Linh

Before knowing those tools and techniques, my project management was very poor and I felt I very dependent on other people. Yet after being aware of these techniques, I am actively pushing my project forward and have a clear vision how to get the job done.

 

What is the Fast Forward implementation program?


Over the past 10 years, I have discovered just how powerful and transformative a simple and robust productivity system can be. After more than five years of working for one of the most prestigious management consulting firms, I set up my own ventures.

Since then, I've been running several companies at the same time while travelling for 4-5 months every year and sold one of our companies to a market leader just last year.

I have often asked myself what would have happened, if I had learned these skills earlier in my career when I was still in research.

I created this program, so that researchers like you get to experience just that. Fast Forward integrates the lessons and insights from the past 10 years of working with the top minds in consulting and industry, talking and listenening to productivity experts and reading thousands and thousand of pages on the topic of productivity, learning and stress reduction.

This implementation program is a 7-week coaching program designed to help you implement an agile project and time management system in your research projects. It will transform the way you work and help you achieve new levels of clarity, focus and momentum in your projects, while reducing your stress levels.

 






7 Implementation Modules To Transform Your Productivity

Getting Started
In the first week, we focus on getting you up to speed, lay the foundations and install a beginner's mindset for the weeks ahead.
The 12 Week Vision
Understand the difference between goals, projects and end products and map out your roadmap for the next 3 months.
The Project Charter
Gain clarity on your projects, including criteria and boundaries of success, tools and resources required and stakeholders to involve.
The Results Generator
Break down your projects into manageable chunks, lay out the roadmap that will keep you focused on your goal and install the frameworks to guide your daily activities.
The Sprint Planner
Define incremental end produts and the activities to get you there. Understand the principle of sprints and move from planning to execution.
The Productive Day
Prioritize your tasks and decide which tasks to outsource or delegate. Structure your day for maximum productivity and explore ways of saying no, while still being helpful.
The Sprint
Install the daily and weekly routines to keep you on track during a sprint and focused on your project goal.
The Improvement Engine
Conduct a post-mortem to review your sprint outcome and execution. Install routines to achieve continuous improvement with each sprint.



What our members say about Fast Forward




Your Instructor


Dr. Nadine Sinclair
Dr. Nadine Sinclair

Nadine is one of the Founding Members and Managing Directors of Mind Matters, a boutique consulting and coaching company based in Malta, which offers advisory services to companies and two transformative signature programs for high-achieving individuals.

While Straight Talk supports executives on their leadership journey by transforming their inner dialogue to achieve emotional resilience and agility, the Fast Forward signature program helps early-stage researchers achieve new levels of productivity by installing an agile project and time management approach.

Prior to founding Mind Matters, Nadine worked as an independent strategy consultant in Munich, Germany and also founded a food business, which was sold to one a leading industry player in 2017. She is also a Licensed NLP Master Practitioner and Co-Active Coach.

Before embarking on her entrepreneurial journey, Nadine worked almost six years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. As a Project Manager, Nadine led numerous projects in 20 countries both in the public and private sector. Prior to joining McKinsey & Company, Nadine completed her PhD in Molecular Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany.


More success stories from our members

Andrés

I'm not sure if the amount of work that I do has increased or not. However, now I know exactly on which areas I'm making progress, where my bottlenecks lie and I'm collecting data on which activities take longer time than I expect them to. I feel that with time I will get to better know myself and the way I best work so that I can increase my productivity continuously for a long time.

Elena

I'm much more confident now about where I am and where I am going to with my Project. I have a clear picture of what needs to be done, and what are the small steps. This provide confidence, that my 12 month Goal is achievable and that I am on track of my project, which also reduces the stress level.

Isa

I changed mostly doing the things first that allow me to make the biggest progress and also I feel a bit more comfortable saying no to other or not immediately make time for them if I can't do so that moment. By saying a bit more often no to other I can focus more on my own work and work mostly on the things that are urgent and important for me and not only urgent and important to others. I feel I have more time for my things.

Lisa

I feel that I have the tools to be more productive and just have to train to use them in the future. I feel more confident about managing projects now. My stress levels have decreased because I have an overview over the project and it is not a large pile of work if it is broken down. I do think that my stress levels will decrease further once I have more routine in using the project management tools.

Frequently Asked Questions



+ How is Fast Forward different from a 2-day project management workshop?

A 2-day course is a great way to get an overview of the principles of project management. It’s really after the workshop when the work starts when you have to implement what you learned and apply the principles to your own projects. In our experience this is where people struggle and the questions come up. This is why we designed Fast Forward as an implementation program, i.e. it does not only teach you the principles (just like in a 2-day workshop), but also guides you step-by-step through the implementation. In addition, the weekly Q&A Coaching Sessions and The Seminar Room (the Fast Forward private Facebook group) are great resources for you to get all your questions answered and learn from the other members.

+ How long is the Fast Forward implementation program?

The program runs for 7 consecutive weeks, during which new content is sent to you every week. You will get additional support during weekly Q&A Coaching Sessions and The Seminar Room (the Fast Forward private Facebook group). While the program takes 7 weeks to complete, you will have access to the content for 4 full months.

+ How is Fast Forward different from other courses online?

Fast Forward focuses on both learning and doing: each implementation module teaches you the principles and allows you to digest the information at your own pace. The workbooks and templates guide you through the implementation of the principles in your own projects. The weekly Live Q&A Coaching Sessions and The Seminar Room (the Fast Forward private Facebook group) are great resources for you to get all your questions answered and learn from the other members.

+ Will this system work for research projects?

Fast Forward is an agile project management system that we designed specifically to meet the needs of researchers. Different from the classical “waterfall” project management approaches, in which all the planning happens upfront, agile project management has been originally developed to guide complex software development projects, which have to constantly adapt in response to customer feedback. Building on Nadine’s background in research and more than 10 years of experience in working as a top-tier management consultant, we designed Fast Forward to account for the uncertainty of research projects.

+ I have attended Nadine’s Project Management Workshops – will there be any new material in the Fast Forward implementation program?

Everything you have learned in the workshop will be explained in detail with specific step-by-step instructions to implement. You will get more essentials and you will be able to join the Live Q&A Sessions to get your questions answered and to learn from and connect with other participants. You will also be working with the entire Mind Matters team inside The Seminar Room (a private Facebook group) between the coaching sessions.

+ Do I have to buy any software to complete the Fast Forward implementation program?

You will not require software to complete the program. We are strong believers in pragmatic, hands-on approaches rather than locking you in a particular software package. You can apply all of the concepts using pen and paper or a standard office package.

+ What format is the program delivered in?

We will have a virtual Kickoff together on Day 1 of the program, so that you’re off to a great start and have a chance to get to know the other participants! The course materials are shared as video content, templates and course workbooks inside the member area. During the weekly Live Q&A Coaching Sessions and inside The Seminar Room (the Fast Forward private Facebook group) you can get your questions answered and learn from the other participants.

+ What do I need to prepare for the Kickoff?

The Kickoff on Day 1 will be a video conference. You don’t need to prepare anything! Just check beforehand that you have all the plugins to work the video conferencing platform! This is your chance to meet and connect with the other participants. To get the full benefit of the event (and also of the Weekly Live Q&A Sessions), it’s best to have a webcam and a microphone.

+ Do I need a Facebook account to access the private group?

Yes. Facebook requires you to have an account to join a group. If you don’t have an account, we recommend that you create a temporary account (no need to add a picture) for the time of the program. This way you can get the full benefit and support from the community and the Mind Matters Team.

+ Will you ship anything to me?

No. Everything you need to complete the program is accessed in the private member area online and inside The Seminar Room (our private Facebook group).

+ Can I access the entire program all at once?

No. The content of each module builds on the principles of the previous modules. A new module will be unlocked each week. Don’t worry, you will be able to watch completed modules again.

+ How much time does it take every week?

Each module has several videos that allow you to go through the content bit by bit and in your own time. In addition, there are the weekly Live Q&A Coaching Sessions via video conference and the time needed to fill the templates and complete the workbooks. It really depends on the complexity of your project, but most of our past participants spent between 3-4 hours each week to work through the content and apply them in their projects.

+ How much support will I get?

The Fast Forward implementation program will teach you the principles of agile project management and guide you step-by-step through implementation. It’s only natural that you may have questions as you are applying the system to your projects. So we have set up a support system to make sure you can get help quickly. For the seven weeks of the program you will have access to our weekly Live Q&A Coaching Sessions. Don’t worry – you won’t have to wait to get your questions answered. The Seminar room, which is the Fast Forward private Facebook group, is a great place to get help from the Mind Matters team and to learn from the other members. The next few months are about you learning and implementing an agile project management system that will not only allow you to get a new level of focus and clarity around your projects and improve your productivity, but also to develop a skillset that will serve you throughout your career.

+ What happens after I sign up?

Once you signed up and signed the Course Agreement, you will receive a welcome email with your access details to the program, the invitation link to The Seminar Room (the Fast Forward private Facebook group) and guidance on the next steps to get you started.

+ Will I get credits towards my degree?

If you signed up for Fast Forward via your university, you will receive the number of credits specified by your institution. To receive credits you need to complete the implementation modules including the assignments and attend the weekly Live Q&A Coaching Sessions. If you have signed up privately, you will need to check with your program coordinator if they will grant you credits for completion of the program.

+ Will I get a certificate?

Yes, you will receive a certificate upon completion of the program. The certificate will be sent to you by email once you completed all modules. You will need to complete the program within 10 weeks to qualify for a certificate.

+ How do the Live Q&A Sessions work?

The Live Q&A Sessions are delivered via Zoom video conference. This is the chance to get all your questions answered!

+ What if I can’t make the Live Q&A Sessions?

Everything is recorded, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything. You can access the links inside the Facebook group and watch them anytime. Please note that you may have to attend the sessions to receive credits from your university for attending the course.

+ How long do I have access to the content?

The program runs 7 weeks, but you will receive access to the video content for 4 months, so that you have plenty of time to revisit the modules after you completed them.

+ Can I start the Fast Forward program at a different time?

Maybe, however we don’t know if and when we will offer the program again.

+ Could I just find this information for free online?

You can find just about anything online these days. Does this mean it’s actually valuable and will work in your research? One of the reasons we created this program is because the traditional “waterfall” project management systems rarely works for research projects. Most people want to invest the time to set up a project management system only once rather than trying this way and that way until finding an approach that works.