How to manage your PhD: The 60% rule

By James Hayton,
December 10, 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

As a PhD student, you probably think a lot about how to manage your time. But one aspect that's often overlooked is how you manage your effort.

You might think that it's all about working harder; putting in more effort to get more done. But there's a limit to how much you can achieve this way.

Most of the time, you shouldn't be working as hard as you possibly can. Instead, you should aim for about 60% effort; being focused on a goal, but relaxed.

This is not only more sustainable, but often more effective too. By relaxing, not rushing and not worrying too much about the end result, you're far more likely to be able to see solutions to the problems you face.

If working harder isn't working, maybe it's time to relax a bit.

See also:

Time to think

Dealing with research stress

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