As a research student you are embarking on a long term project that could last for many years. It is natural that you motivation will wax and wane over the course of your project. You can also expect that you may have unexpected interuptions which could impact on your progress. Having some time management strategies and tools in place can help you better manage you time so that you can achieve a well balanced life throughout your candidature.
Time management is actually all about managing yourself. As it turns out, what works for one person might not work for another. You need to understand yourself: your motivations, distractions, priorities. Knowing this will help you to work out personalised strategies to help you maximise your available time.
Reflect for a moment, for example, on what time of the day you work best. Where do you work best? What is your typical attention span for different tasks? Working with your individual preferences instead of against them is more likely to lead to good habits.
Speaking of habits, remember that it takes time to develop good ones. As you develop new routines, give them a chance to settle in. A mistake students can make with time management is to give up on a new routine before it has a chance to become a habit. Unfortunately, bad habits are all too easy to form whereas good habits may take weeks, or sometimes months to truly settle in.
Take a look at our general time management resources - particularly the weekly planner which helps you to establish a weekly routine and ensure that you are allowing enough time within your week to accomplish all of your allocated tasks. You may also find some of the task tracking tools useful.