Day 26: How do you react when things go wrong in your PhD?

60:60: 60 short videos for PhD students in 60 days
See also
Beyond the obvious
time to think

It’s inevitable that things will go wrong throughout your PhD. How you react when this happens is possibly even more important than how you plan or organize your research.

Do you avoid the problem by checking email, or switch to working on something else to stay busy? Or do you slow down and take some time to think?

Day 25: A PhD time management tip


(watch on YouTube)

 

60/60: 60 short videos for PhD students in 60 days
see also:
day 21: decision fatigue
day 23: decision fatigue and writing

 

Time management is obviously very important in a PhD, but when it goes wrong, your plan can become a burden rather than a tool that helps you. There are aspects to effective planning.

One I think is worth factoring in is the decision fatigue I’ve talked about in previous videos

Try to balance tiring, decision-heavy work with easier, routine tasks to ease exhaustion and maintain momentum!

Day 24: A PhD isn’t supposed to be painful

60/60: 60 short videos for PhD students in 60 days
See also: PhD stress: Don’t Ignore The Warning Signs

Extreme stress is so common among PhD students that many people assume it’s an inevitable or necessary part of the process; you have to suffer in order to succeed!

I don’t believe that’s true. I believe that a PhD can be enjoyable and rewarding and that extreme stress is a warning sign that something is going wrong.

Day 23: Decision fatigue and writing

Watch “Day 21: Decision Fatigue”
60/60: 60 short videos for PhD students in 60 days

A few days ago, I talked about decision fatigue; when you have to make a lot of decisions it’s tiring, and the more tired you get the harder it is to make good decisions and the easier it is to slip into bad habits.

Writing is all about decision making because there are countless ways to express and arrange your ideas. A lot of people avoid making decisions and just write, but this means you have to do all the decision making at the end when you’re under the most pressure…

Day 22: Why are you doing a PhD?

60 short videos for PhD students in 60 days

You might have been asked, possibly hundreds of times, why you’re doing a PhD.

But the reasons why you started your PhD might not stand up to the test of time. You begin with a certain set of expectations and motivations, but sometimes reality doesn’t match up.

This can be demotivating, but you can also change your reasons for doing a PhD (or continuing with it).

Day 21: Decision fatigue

See all the videos in this series here
Day 23: Decision fatigue and academic writing

When recording these videos, I’m not following much of a plan. I’m just giving whatever tips come to mind on a day by day basis.

This gives me a lot of flexibility, but it also means I have to constantly make decisions about what to do. This can be tiring and can lead to decision fatigue.

This decision fatigue not only makes it harder to make decisions but also to avoid easy, habitual bad choices…