How to get through your PhD without going insane (lecture at Edinburgh University)

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There is no shortage of PhD advice out there; how to be more organised, how to procrastinate less, how to sort your data and so on… And yet there is no shortage of stressed PhD students either.

Is the advice flawed? Or are the students just not working hard enough? Neither; the problem is that the advice generally given consists of tactics, while most students are still trying to figure out the rules of the game.

If you don’t know how the system works or what you have to achieve, then being more organised or working harder simply won’t work… you’ll just end up going insane!

In this talk, you will learn the fundamental principles every PhD student needs to know in order to succeed.

4 thoughts on “How to get through your PhD without going insane (lecture at Edinburgh University)”

  1. Is there any chance you could post a transcript of this? I am hearing impaired and – between the accent and the erratic volume modulation of your voice (coupled with the fact this is a recorded lecture in a big room) – I simply cannot pick up what you’re saying about 75% of the time. YouTube’s auto-closed-captions for it are comically awful. Thanks. 🙂

  2. I´m not an academic, but I am interested in academics itself. I am enjoying your course, and just watched this video. I understand completely the feeling. It is that thought, “What´s the worse thing that could happen to me?” When the answer comes, and I can accept that, I realize that I now have lost my fear, or at least can manage it as you say.
    Thanks for everything,

  3. Thanks for sharing the video James. Often one knows the things you mention but continues on the same cycle of distraction, less productivity, high stress and burnout. Phew time to claim my PhD!

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