On Day 1 of the PhD plan I wrote a blog and made myself a Don’t Panic poster. It was a start.
Today full panic mode kicked in.
How do people prioritise a part-time Phd when the non-Phd workload is also high?
I tweeted this question to the #PhD community on twitter where there are numerous phd hashtags #phdlife #phdadvice #phd #phdconnect #phdchat
Thank you to everyone who responded to my tweet of despair. This is the power of social media – the linking of strangers through empathy. It’s the realisation of the dreams of early WWW pioneers like Tim Berners Lee who wrote about the potential power and universality of digital connections. I’m not sure about the suggestion I turn off the internet though.
Part of my #PhdPlan was to review how I use social media. A part-time doctorate is tough. It gets lonely too. You need all the support you can get. I’d thought if I reached out to other postgrads spending their summer with their laptops, I might build up some digital motivation and support. What I hadn’t planned was the panic attack when I realised – in the midst of my post conference blues – the amount of non-phd work I’d come back to.
Prioritising research is not easy. I’ve spent the day trying to create some space, ticked a few tasks off the ToDo list and accepted an invitation to talk at the Learn Live for Higher Education event at Bett in January ’16. Opportunities to disseminate represent incentives so this was a positive – and the closest I’ve got to my research all day – apart from visiting PhD Comics – for inspiration not procrastination you understand.
Tomorrow is Day 3 of #PhDPlan and I’m in London.
Here’s hoping Day 4 is when it all starts to happen.