Pain or dreams in real-world life. Fundamental and impactful works often get inspirations from the real world complaint that people neglect and lead a new branch of research.
Filter of Ideas
Do literature review to avoid repetitive work.
Evaluate, discuss carefully before turning the idea into a research problem.
Avoid working on things you don’t believe in or consider as something with short shelf-life.
Master the Assisting Materials
Avoid greedy collection like a consumer and getting drown into the sea of literature, but rather taking advantage of them as a knowledge producer.
Cross-disciplinary literture could be helpful (e.g., theory work focusing on the more abstract theme).
Have an Organized Task Stack
Decompose the problem into measurable steps. It will help better to diagnose, fallback.
Research process is similar to SGD: take a number of baby steps aiming to reach an “optimal” solution. Don’t brute force each possible solution without organization. Each step should be driven by the problem or sub-problems. Try to leverage on prior experiences and heuristics to prioritize the most promising solutions and therefore reduce the search space.
Avoid blind engineering hack, it is helpful to ground the practices on heuristics, intuitions, theory.
Zoom in and zoom out and crystallize the main line. Adjust the tasks in the stack if needed. Reverse engineering the output target could help decide on the right methodology and path to go.
Pop the Task Regularly and Log Down Stable “Milestones”
Have target milestones in mind: It is better to always target at a stable milestone, i.e., some concrete output in terms of implementation, theoretical justification of an argument, experimental result, rather than wondering before finding the “optimal” optimal solution without giving any visual outputs to be interpreted by others.
Log down the stuff in self-organized units. Even detours would go as part of the discussion in the paper.
Communicate with mentors and others and get feedbacks.
One could never stress the importance of TM too much. It is the key to getting things done and alleviating stress.
Have a centralized calendar which denotes in detail the things you need to deal with along the time axis. It will help give a better overview and gain control of your life.
Be realiable, active in research related practices.