10 motivational tips for your PHD journey
a) Have leeway to commit errors and mistakes
Yes, that is exactly what we just said. You read that right. A perfectionist attitude in life will certainly hamper your creative juices and efficiency. Unluckily, as grown up adults we are hesitant to take or implement correction because we fear failure again and may do those mistakes again. Do you forget that being a small child and just having fun and frolic in the sand without fretting about soiling your attire and shoes? In a famous group-building play called the cherry challenge (where the objective is to build the tallest structure with a cherry atop the toy-based structure), toddlers consistently outperform business students in building higher and more creative objects. The motive is that children do not mind or do not fear making those mistakes because their sole objective is to have lots of und and hence they take the necessary actions. This may be the last time-crunch of your final semester and you may need to weed out the perfectionistic attitude and just prepare your dissertation. Hire a research assistance if you need support. As required you may have to copy edit, proof and review your draft several times. You can meet your graduation timelines and still manage to author two or more single author journals. After months of hard work you can surmount the writer’s mental block by allowing yourself some freedom to pen words on your paper inspite of not knowing what exactly to write.
b) Plan your writing by writing in short stints
I used to wonder that it was awesome to have long duration of time to write, and I used to schedule aside complete noon time to work on progress reports or my Microsoft PPT presentation documents. I do not have this leisure now as I am now in my last semester of my course. I had to improve my time management strategies, because in addition to writing my thesis, I was also running experiments. To pass university on time you must certainly make progress every day and in every semester of my course. There will be times you will have only twenty minutes gap in between experimental time points, and during that period you must close your my email inbox and mobile phone and you must start writing. It is amazing how much you can accomplish in a short time when you are focused and uninterrupted.
After starting to put pen to paper you will see in just thirty minutes that you will be able to write an entire summary or abstract of your thesis or review a complete published article in a journal. Normally, it would have taken you a lot of time to achieve this. Even if you have the leisure of long chunks of time available you must definitely try out the policy of writing in stings of twenty-thirty minutes each. Hence, your mind must center on placing concepts to note book instead of fretting about doing those slip-ups once again. In universities, there are few students who think it is certainly useful to work on “writing stints” first thing they wake up in the morning so that they can prioritize instead of getting distracted by trouble shooting. As a student with a heavy work load you must ensure you mobile and inbox are closed to devote concentration on just writing for twenty to thirty minutes.
c) Maintain a medium-sized notebook
There is a saying that our minds and hearts are never at ease; you will get the flow of creative ideas when you put your pen to your notebook and you will witness new concepts coming out of after you start writing. And the natural tendency is to react to the list of tasks in your notebook immediately. Ensure that you do not cause an issue by obstruct the flow of thought by looking at your inbox full of emails or those calls that you did not pick up. This will cause you to lose the thread of ideas and stops you from conjuring new concepts every day. You must not reject the tendency to act upon these lists of chores otherwise the temptation will only get stronger. Also, your heart will not allow you to brush it aside unless you take some action to remedy the situation. So does it imply that you as PHD student doing research need to email that friend or call that family relative of yours? You must jot it down in the ring or spiral note that you purchased and is beside you all the time.
What you need to do is file those action items away and later look at the list after you finished your “writing stint”. This will certainly help. Astonishingly, majority of the tasks look not-so-hurry before you complete your writing project. You will feel that you are on top of the world once you follow this policy and you will have a clear, calm and composed head to finish your dissertation.
d) Focus on your objectives
Do you have a tendency to review your inbox or Facebook posts by default in the morning or when you switch on your lappy? By doing that you jeopardize your chances of moving toward your objectives—which is to complete your PHD—and focus on other’s requests or needs. So focus first on your objectives for the day instead of reacting to emails and calls first up in the early morning; distraction arises and you will not meet your prioritized tasks for the day. You can check email or do calls at the time of the day when your energy levels are low or when you are tired. So concentrate on finishing high priority tasks in the morning. You may allocate thirty to sixty minutes a day to others request over email or phone and this is a waste of time. Our guides can also help you in problem identification during your course.
e) Put an end to being a people pleaser
There is a vast sea of variance between being efficient/effective and twisting your back bone just to satisfy your professor or your supervisor; concentrate on the goal or result they require and not on trying to please them. For instance, if your professor requests you to finish a project then it is more priority that the project is completed well, rather than sooner just to show that you are diligent (unless project requires special attention); in universities there are few supervisors who have not performed actual dissertation research for some time and although they are good teachers, they are not be the right acclaimed expert in your specific subject.
If this is the case, they may not have a good idea of how long an assignment will take. Always ensure that you delivery or communicate without doubt on any unreasonable requirements or unexpected hurdles so you can get your project finished. Do not slip into the tendency to look good or put on a good show instead of learning rather. You may not seek their assistance or support when the situation arises and may end up working longer durations or make unwanted errors. In the long run, you will end up frustrated and resentful, and perhaps not learn as much as you could have, if you had asked for help when you needed it.
f) Do not purchase the billet for a guilt trip party
Lots of customers ask, what is the key to work productivity? They simply wished that they had more hours in the week. Sometimes, I request people to list out their tasks every day and then they begin to enlist their chores for the day along with their several commitments (official or personal) that they do not intend to perform. So, then I ask them why they do it. They ponder and then give a reply that resembles some that is some kind of “I think I am obliged to bring a meal to the dinner celebrations party” or “I really need to chauffer my colleague’s kid to school” Why would someone do something that they don’t want to do? To summarize, they feel guilty disappointing their friends or family members. In actuality, a dinner party will thrive despite your unique dish, and your friend can find another person to look after the kid sometimes. You must note keep yourself aloof from your contemporaries and halt initiatives, but to lighten your work schedule during tight schedules so that you may need to confer or completely rid yourself of some priorities. If you feel ill at ease then think about what you would disclose to your closest ally. Would you comprehend if he or she had to drop an invitation to a meal or take care of the kid to complete their dissertation?
g) Transform tense moments by not worrying
Do you ever have a well-meaning friend tell you to stop worrying? It is usually not very helpful advice. When you worry, there is a reason for it. Your body and mind are telling you that there is an important issue that you need to attend to. Worrying by running catastrophic scenarios through your head is not productive, but you can turn worrying into productive energy. The biggest worries that graduate students have is that they will never graduate, or that they will be the last one in their class to graduate. What is your body telling you when you have this fear? Perhaps you have a gut feeling that your project is dead-end, or that you are falling behind on your timeline, or maybe that it is time to have the “talk” with your supervisor (i.e. what you need to do to graduate).
Our writers can give you tutoring and mentoring support; when you catch yourself worrying, do something about it. According to Edward Hallowell, author of the book “Worry”, the best medicine for worrying is to “worry with someone else.” Start by talking with a close friend, or perhaps someone in your field who can give you technical advice if your project is stuck. Once you identify the exact cause of your worrying, make a plan to either get your research back on track or to talk to your supervisor about next steps. Either way, you must use the “worry signal” from your body to take action towards your long-term goals.
h) You must be accountable
Few things motivate us more than hard deadlines. The problem is that there are few deadlines in graduate school and most of them are so far in the future (6-12 months) that it is tough to get motivated today. An accountability buddy is someone who helps you to stay on track. It is useful if the person is an expert in your field, but they don’t have to be. Close friends who are non-judgmental can be very supportive and give you encouragement when you get stuck. It is also important that the person is unbiased – they should not be affected at all by your graduation date. Their primary role is to listen, so you can “think out loud” and actually solve most of your problems on your own. For this reason spouses or significant others are probably not the best accountability buddies. If your supervisor is available and willing to meet with you regularly, you can use those meetings to discuss the big picture and progress on milestones, not just the nitty-gritty details of your research. Have a query on accountability; just email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
i) Celebrate the occasions daily
We seem to be well versed at demotivating ourselves by beating ourselves down, and thinking that we are a bunch of failures if don’t complete our list of tasks or fall short of targets. How do you think and carry on with your day when you beat yourself down? Do you feel demotivated and dejected? These thoughts will guarantee to make you unproductive and depressed. Besides, they will steal your self-esteem and never make you efficient. Talk to us if you need help in any subject/industry such as Economic, Biological, Medicine, and Computer Science. Talking down to yourselves is a cycle that you need to snap out of to be efficient and by doing this your self-motivation will increase along with confidence and prevent you from dropping out of university. The next time you breezed thru your to-do tasks, you must rewards yourself with a small treat such as going out for a meal, shopping, and friends. This is to motivate you to perform better; take baby steps to complete your tasks and this will go a long way to improve your productivity. Spending long duration for your research project requires some incentives to motivate you.
j) File away your procrastination
This is an all-time top time saving tip; we all postpone work, so we might as well procrastinate prudently. There is a tendency to fall into the trap of busyness. There may be hundreds of emails in your mail box and lots of those social media posts that you need to reply to. An apartment that desperately requires vacuum cleaning and friends and relatives or family members asking you to do some of their personal tasks. No wonder how many minutes or hours that you tire, you will probably not be able to get through all your to-do lists in a day. If albeit you do get through everything, most likely other to-do’s will certainly emerge. To-do lists remind me of seven-headed monsters. No wonder how many necks you cut off, new ones will grow back immediately? If you concentrate on completing through a to-do list and pleasing everyone, you will end up frustrated, not get everything (or other tasks) complete, and you will certainly not please the people who are depending on you. You must reward yourself a breather now and then. Thoughts about your upcoming viva voice may be worrying you, but we are here to help. Drain out some of the tasks that have always been bogging you down. If an objective is not assisting you, your vision, or your beloved ones, you are doing yourself and the community a huge disservice by delving time into it. Let this be the time of the year when you concentrate on the most important objectives and people in your life. Everything else will fall into place and you will complete your PHD dissertation on time.