Completing a PhD is much like nursing a child. It can sap all of your energy, eat into your time, and it can crowd out any other responsibilities, hobbies or interests you may have had. Completing a PhD is tough, and it can be incredibly isolating; worth it in the long run, but hard at the time.
But what if, alongside your PhD, you actually have to care for a child too? Or you have other caregiving responsibilities? Or you have a full time job?
For many of you reading this, the PhD is competing for air time against a backdrop of other important responsibilities. Whether that’s caring for children or parents, or earning money to pay the bills, they are often a higher priority than the PhD. The PhD can wait, often – feeding kids and paying bills can’t.
I never had this experience – I was unmarried and childless during my PhD, and was lucky enough to have a stipend to ease the financial pressure. That may be why those of you who do have other responsibilities may often feel neglected in these emails. Often I talk to those who can devote 100% of their attention to their thesis.
I asked a reader of these emails to share their advice on how to juggle multiple roles and keep momentum in the PhD. Their advice was spot on, and I want to share it with you.
‘The key thing for me is to be completely focused on making time every day. Does not matter how busy you are at work or how hectic it is at home with the kids and or spouse, you can always make time, even if it is only half an hour. Mentally you will feel you are still maintaining your momentum, although you only spent 30mins on your PhD’.
If anyone else has any advice and tips they’d like to share with the wider community (2500+ and growing), please reply to this email and share your thoughts anonymously.
So whether or not you’re juggling multiple roles: good luck.
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