Wednesday, April 30, 2014

11 ways to set yourself up for success


i think this post from Australian Business Insider is worth to be shared here, for my own future reference.

I pray to Allah may the research journey will be smooth and move as it was planned. Everyday is like a new challenge for me. I was literally lost for my own project since I didn't understand much of the project. I wasn't sure what should I do for the project. I am now in the midst of doing literature review for the transport policy related to the topics.

I find it quite hard to write journal article without anyn guidance from my supervisor. I just hoping I could get minimum 10 articles reviewed done by end of this week. At least I feel much better and could be more focused in doing other tasks.

This post is dedicated specifically to myself and all the readers, especially if you are in early 20s. I am still learning to manage my time more efficiently and reduce my time with phones and facebook. So here the post is to remind myself, not to waste my time too much with the smartphone and internet.

Izzah, please be more matured and be a better person in terms of time management and more focused in your work! I am still learning and will continue to learn ad become a better person day by day..


If you’re in your early 20s, Agarwal says you should…

1. Learn to manage and balance your time.

Without the structure of school, it’s up to you to figure how to organise your day. Since you’ll be busy laying the foundation for your career, investing in your romantic life, and trying to have time left over for yourself, you’ll need to figure out how to prioritise and juggle competing demands. Agarwal recommends experimenting with different approaches until you’ve mastered the art of time management.

2. Put down your smartphone.

This generation grew up with social media, and many are probably too attached to their smartphones. Realise that someone liking your photo on Facebook or upvoting your post on Reddit isn’t as important as what’s going on around you. If you’re living in the moment, you can actually learn something, listen better, and contribute to the conversation.

3. Travel as much as you can.

As Agarwal puts it, when you’re in your early 20s, “you are mature enough to go out on your own and immature enough to learn from others.” Take trips that introduce you to new cultures and open your mind to new ways of thinking. In addition to gaining confidence and social skills, you’ll make memories that will last the rest of your life.

4. Pursue passion, not money.

At this stage, you likely do not have a spouse, kids, and a mortgage to take care of. Use this freedom to follow your heart rather than a big paycheck. Agarwal referenced a Steve Jobs’ quote: “If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.”

5. Figure out who you really are.

Use this period in your life to figure out what truly drives you, what scares you, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and who truly cares about you. Understanding who you are and what you’d like to achieve in life will give you peace of mind and set you up for success.

6. Remember that a larger world exists beyond your doorstep.

As you become more successful, give back to society’s less fortunate. Whether it’s by volunteering or donating to charity, plenty of evidence shows that those who pay it forward lead much happier lives than those who don’t.
Other Quora users weighed in as well, saying you should…

7. Learn to ignore the voice that tells you to give up.

Fight the voice in your head urging you take the easy route. If you don’t learn to ignore it, that same voice will plague you throughout your life, whether you’re trying to be healthier or gunning for a promotion. If you can overcome it, “you can push yourself to heights never imagined, and it will help you during hard times.” — Sang Young Noh

8. Start saving.

Even if you’re paying off student loans, you should start a habit of setting aside a portion of every paycheck in an emergency fund. Set a goal of having enough money to cover at least six months of expenses, in case of an injury or job loss. Make sure to also take advantage of a retirement plan offered by your employer, because you’ll appreciate the accrued interest years from now. — Drew Eckhardt

9. Take care of your body.

You’re in the prime of your life. Now’s the time to establish healthy exercise and eating habits, because it won’t be as easy to change once you grow older. And take good care of your skin to avoid the onset of wrinkles. — Mo Seetubtim

10. Get as much education as possible, be it in the classroom or not.

If you want to get a graduate degree, go for it. But even if you don’t spend any additional time in the classroom, read as much as possible, about as many things as possible. Learn a new language; get some writing published. You’ll never have as much free time and energy as you do now, so gain as much knowledge as you can. — Bill Welsh

11. Accept your mistakes and learn from them.

As you establish yourself in the world, you’re going to make mistakes in all aspects of your life. Don’t react too emotionally to any of them, and make sure that you learn how to avoid repeating them. “If you understand this, it will make you patient with other people who make mistakes, and you will learn forgiveness. It’s a very short hop from there to kindness, the greatest virtue a human being can have.” — Bill Welsh

Friday, April 25, 2014

Love what you do


I feel like working today, but sometimes I feel that I don't need to work and just enjoy my weekend..
So here I am, just blogging and facebooking. Just to remind myself with a quote from Steve Jobs that I found on Facebook:
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. - Steve Jobs
 Honestly, I am still learning to love what I do now. I feel lost this week. I'm not sure of what should I do. I don't like calling people, request for data from them. Worst part, I couldn't focus on my literature review. Sometimes I just thinking of quitting from this field and try to delve into management work instead. But then, the sense of teaching and ambitious to be a lecturer keep on coming into my mind. I wanna be a lecturer, and this is the only way that I could be one. I will be applying for masters degree and then finish my thesis as soon as possible, then apply for scholarship for phD. It sounds simple, but it takes full of sweats and tears before I could have my PhD. Phd is not for everyone, but I believe I deserve it one day.

I just hope that my experience of being a research assistant and handling lots of project will greatly assist me in my own research in the future.

Yesterday, my boss called and told me that she has another project that I will need to work on a paper.. it's a long-term project, so we need to publish the paper that don't require data from other sub-project group. As for now, adding another project I would have 4 projects that I need to closely work on as part of my research work:

1) Land public transport competition assessment
2) Islamic Medical tourism
3) Competition assessment for depot

and these projects that I need to work for any admin work:
1) Land public transport competition assessment2) Islamic Medical tourism
4) Halal Supply Chain (3 sub-projects)

Allahu rabbi, banyak betul kerja. Allahu musta'an.. semoga Allah cukupkan masa

Monday, April 21, 2014

Second draft first paper


Alhamdulillah, done with my second draft for the zoo paper.

Today I went out from home, around 7.50 am, and left the office at 8 pm.

Back at home, I started to work on my paper after having my dinner. And now I just send the second draft, it is not quite complete yet since I really have no idea on how to tackle the conclusion part.

Just wait for the comment from my boss. I hope everything will be as good as he expected.

I just feel like writing something on  my blog. This is the prove that I have been working and done my best, at least in my opinion. HAHA.

I think I'm not internally stable, I need to get shower, pray and go to sleep.. I am in sleep deprivation since I only slept for 4 hours ++ yesterday's night. Hope to get quality sleep tonight..

Night world,
 mimpikan yang indah saja.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Being a researcher


I am a researcher

Being a researcher
is not a natural talent
It is something that can be learnt
and nurtured
over time

Being a researcher
you compromise
your leisure hours
your own sweet time

Being a researcher
and a writer
Teach me to be patient
and it is
a long-life learning

Being a researcher
I am now climbing the steep hill
slowly but surely
will arrive on top

Being a researcher
I may get stucked
But remember
just never give up.

Slowly, but surely
I will profess.

by: Dr. Izzah Mohammad.

NB: I am stranded in the middle of correction for my first paper. I feel so bad now, stressed and pressured. I really wanna finish this as quick as possible so that I could then focus on my next paper. The target is 5 ISI/Scopus to be published before I finish my masters degree. Please make du'a for me, the 'Dr' in my name is just for the sake of dua to myself.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mood less


This week, I feel so unmotivated to do anything. Usually I will do some work during the nighttime, but this whole week I keep on procrastinating everything..

I don't like to call stakeholders to request for data. I have to read and find tonnes of reference for the project.--> planning to write a conceptual paper for the policies of land public transport in Malaysia and get it published at least in Tier 1 or 2 ISI journal, so that I will get plus point to further my study.

I know procrastination is the thief of time, but I just don't know how to revive myself. I feel 'lemau', or maybe it's just my feeling and mind-set. I don't have much confidence in this field. I keep on feeling unsecured, not doing good enough. That's why I always post something that I feel motivated because of it so that I can always llook at it when I feel down.

Right now, I have got feedback for the first paper - zoo paper. I need to make lots of corrections:
1) change everything to present tense to make it standardize
2) review the comments and framework
3) edit the introduction, find and put some statistics
4) change evry quote

I will be the first author for this paper, collaborating with my ex-boss, he's a prof, 1 phd student, 1 lecturer and another 1 prof from uum. I feel sooo grateful to have a chance to publish a paper with my ex-boss. I was so impressed when I got the feedback for the paper that I wrote. He commented on every single thing that I wrote..

It's hard to find someone like him since most of the lecturer will just send the paper to editor for editing purpose. At that moment when I see the comments from him, I just feel so surprised and impressed that it quickly give me a sudden change in my mind. I know that I have to get him as my supervisor for PHd. Since I will be learning from 0, he's the right person to teach me and give comments for everything that I do.

Ok, back to story, this weekend I will try to keep back on the track. I don't wanna lose connection with dakwah and tarbiyah. I really hope I can be a better Muslim tomorrow. I will go to my first usrah after moving to KL from kelantan. I promise myself not to give up in this journey. It's full of thorns but I won't give up..

One of the reason I keep on blogging, is that it sort of gives me some motivation. A promise made by me, from my heart. I just don't want to be an ordinary person, I want to contribute to my deen, my community. I know the paragraphs are just unorganised, but who cares?

This blog is just for the sake of promising myself, to not give up for what am I doing now. This blog is about my promise, my dream, my experience, so that when I look back I can see myself from the past and see the progression that I have made.. The ups and downs throughout the journey. The more pain you have, the more you'll feel at ease and satisfaction when you manage to settle everything down.

I hope I would regain my confidence after my first paper has been published. Let's pray for the best to happen in future. I always admire the way my boss works, how fast she works.. I just wanna learn everything from her.

I think it's time to stop writing and start editing my paper now, so I could at least complete the correction partially. insya Allah, slowly but surely I can do it. Only Allah could repay the kindness given by the people surrounding me in the faculty. Some of them are really helpful, though some of them are not. But I just wanna remember those who help me through this journey. One day, I will be able to write their names in my thesis. insya Allah..

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More or less


It has been a while since my last post here. One thing I realized, more busy I am, more frequent I will post something on the blog. I think this is one way of reducing stress, at least I write something and release the pressure, rather than keeping it alone and could drive me crazy.

The last post was about the seminar that I organised 3 weeks ago. After the seminar, I was busy with claims for the seminar and etc. Then I took a week off from work, to go back kampung. Because I miss my mum and also my hometown. A week in Kelantan really soothe me, and keep me calm and not thinking about work. I didn't disengage from the work completely. I still do my work, completing my proposal for masters and also managed to go to HUSM to interview the Ustaz regarding medical tourism research.

It is quite sad for me to not qualify for masters by full research. I went to meet the Dean to discuss about my application for masters, after I went back from Kelate. He then told me to check with the office, since he has no problem in supervising me, but I must be qualified for the masters by research mode. The requirement is quite high though that with my final result, I didn't meet the requirement. :( Now I am planning to do mix-mode masters - 30% coursework, 70% dissertation. I hope the UM will accept my application.

Back to story, last week, I went to SPAD but I couldn't meet with the person in charge for the data that we request. Its hard to get stakeholders to collaborate and cooperate in the research. This week, my colleague and I went to Port Klang to interview the company regarding the depot competition assessment. We managed to get to discuss with the Managing Director of the company. He was quite friendly and he talked so much that we couldn't stop him from telling stories about the depots. Some of those which are not related, and kind of wasting our time since we need to go back to UM. After listening to his story about 2 hours, we went back to UM and reach there around 6pm. What a day!

Yesterday I just sit in the office and do some literature review - managed to get 50 articles downloaded - will need more, at least 100s of those related article, which then I need to summarize. Banyak kan?! 1 article could be as short as 10 pages, or can be as long as 70 pages. But mostly, the recent arrticle is not really long since the publisher already put some word limit for the authors. Usually publisher requires the author to not exceed 10k words including reference.

Today, I went to World Halal Conference 2014 held at KLCC. My boss asked me to stay at the program, and I am still deciding whether to join the conference tomorrow or not. I still need to contact PIC from SPAD and Rapid KL to arrange for interviews, and some hospitals for data collection.

Currently, I am handling these programs:
1) Competition assessment of land public transport - 3 years project
2) Islamic Medical Tourism
3) Halal Supply Chain; and helping out my colleague with project Competition assessment of depots in Malaysia.

For future researcher, just to give overview about research: the hardest part in research is neither writing paper nor analysing the data, but to get data itself. The data collection could take months, especially if it requires to get some approval from government offices or companies. Just what I am facing right now, I am dealing with government offices and agencies; Department of Statistics Malaysia, Prasarana (Rapid KL), SPAD, private hospitals, government hospitals. To arrange for an interview sessions could take a minute, or even months!

Now, I am still stuck and not getting the form completed for the ethics approval from the KKM. We need to get ethics clearance from the Ministry of Health since the research requires us to interview the staffs of MOH. What a very tedious process I could tell. No wonder we're called developing country, and I believe Wawasan 2020 of becoming a developed nation would not be achieved, with this kind of system that we have currently.

Luahan perasaan jugak, tapi tanpa pahitnya hempedu, takkan terasa manisnya madu! I can't wait to be a lecturer one day, and have my own flexible and sweet time. hehe