In yesterday’s email I spoke to those who were juggling a PhD alongside other responsibilities (childcare, employment, and so on). I shared a tip that one of the readers shared, and invited others to share their advice on how to keep momentum up in the PhD when it is one of multiple balls to juggle.
Thanks to those who shared their insight. The comments and advice was invaluable. So much so, that I want to share it with you today. Regardless of whether your PhD is the only thing vying for your time or not, you’ll find what they have to say useful.
“When you are doing all of those things (parenting, caring, working, surviving), identify what works for you. The half an hour a day might work for one person, but a full day a week or a week a month may be better for you personally. Work out the best time of the day to study that works for you, and be productive in the times when you are studying. Never beat yourself up if you need to take two months off to regroup and develop your emotional resilience. Remember too that in that time you are reflecting on and processing what to do next, you may just not realise it. But above all be kind to yourself. Take joy in your phd successes, they do come and should sustain you in your challenges.”
“I’ve found also that maintaining and updating a weekly “things to do list” of milestones list really helps . Even if you don’t deliver on time within that list, planning is everything and time management is crucial”
“For me, time to recharge away from the books is also important, so i spend at least one Sunday of the month gardening (trying to anyway!) and away from the books completely.”
“I have two jobs, two young children. I try to set aside a small amount of time every day for my PhD. My enemy isn’t work or children, it’s the loss of time way that smartphones eat into my time, time spent in bad traffic after work, and the difficulty finding a place at home where the children can’t disturb me”.
” I am heading into Year 5 of my PhD and work full-time. It’s hard going at times. However, the best advice I got was at the start of the PhD, when one of my supervisors said that doing a PhD at my stage in life (40+ ) means that things always come up and that’s just the way it is. This has helped me so much over the past 4 years, including having to deal with the death of my father. Sometimes you just need a piece of advice like that or a mantra to get you through. And ultimately remembering that a PhD is a privilege”.
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