Facing the problem in front of you

By James Hayton,
February 26, 2019
I'm James, I'm a former physicist (PhD, Nottingham, 2007) and author of "PhD: An Uncommon Guide to Research, Writing & PhD Life".
Since 2010, I've been helping PhD students all over the world overcome barriers in their research and writing
My strategies have helped thousands of PhD students just like you to build confidence, write better and finish on time

In doing something that nobody has done before, using techniques you're still learning, it's inevitable that you'll face problems.

But there are different ways you can respond to these problems when they arise.

The first is avoidance. You can avoid the problem by procrastinating, or you can avoid it by working on something else. If you switch to working on something else when you face a problem (in research or writing), you'll keep yourself busy but you won't be effective. Ultimately, you'll end up far more stressed because you're working and working but not solving anything.

The alternative is to face the problem head on. Put all other work to one side, engage and take the time to figure it out.

It's uncomfortable, but it's when problems arise that you need to be at your most engaged. The more difficult the problem, the more engaged you need to be.

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