Day 4: You don’t have to do everything you can think of

60/60: 60 short videos for PhD students in 60 days

As you start to make your work more sophisticated, the number of possible options also increases. The only way to keep your project under control is to make decisions about what not to do!

Today, I tried recording in 4K. This creates huge file sizes and makes it impossible to edit (my computer crashes every time). This is a good example of an “improvement” that isn’t necessary and just adds too much complexity.

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6 thoughts on “Day 4: You don’t have to do everything you can think of

  1. It is easy to get detached when you are out of stress of getting to actually have to finish your phd.. The real issue for me is getting rid of the emotional charge of “having to do something exceptional when it come to doing myself”, and that the result never fits my expectations, for they are too high. I feel constant frustration about this, that is what makes me stuck(feeling and effectively being stuck). This makes me hating to write, hating to think of what to write (of course especially when it comes to writing something attached to the subject of my thesis).

  2. I am PhD candidate and this is my first year. I am halfway through the year and still face the challenge of “trying to include EVERYTHING”. Thanks for this video James. Somewhere along the line, you have to let go of some stuff. You can’t do everything.

  3. I love these short videos, James. They’re a great way to start my work every morning. This one is especially apt for me because I rarely stop to consider what the return on my investment of time will be. My habit of thought (only now articulated) seems to be “If I can get anything out of this, I should do it.” The fact that what I get is tiny and my expenditure of time is enormous doesn’t occur to me until well into the project, and then I say, “Well, I’ve put so much time into this, I might as well put in some more and just finish it.” For example, I spent days reading a difficult (and boring) text in order to make a point that I could have made from the introduction alone – indeed, just from the existence of the book. Thanks for this wake-up call. And sorry about the long post.

  4. Yep, I have the really bad habit (‘try harder’ type in transaction analysis) of making things more complicated than they need to be. Sometimes it’s because i can’t decide which is the ‘best’ way to do something. As a result I don’t finish anything.

  5. Thank you,very true
    I know I need to be realistic and should really drop one task that is too time consuming !

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