March 01, 2012

Bored of work – by Elle

So its been a little while since I wrote a blog, and I'm not really sure why I haven't. I haven't been doing much else with my time, or so it seems. I don't have any instrument time available to run experiments until April at the earliest, and so I'm trying to do other things to fill my time - organising conference travel/accommodation, writing abstracts, writing a presentation/poster, producing (shock horror) a thesis plan. This last bit was definitely the scariest, but its been sat in a corner ever since while I procrastinate with other things.

change of plan

I took on an extra two days of demonstrating this week, and I've got more to do next week which will fill some of my time, but in some ways I would rather have a block of days with nothing planned where I can sit down and really focus on padding out the thesis plan with some text. I could write the first two chapters now as they are both introduction type chapters and aren't really going to change much over the next 6 months. I could have written chapter 1 in my first year, but of course I didn't. I don't know how to start, I think that is the problem. I think I am also put off knowing that even if I do sit down and write something, it will get put on hold in a days time while I do something else.

Its making getting up in the morning and going into the lab pretty frustrating and demotivating.

I'm off to my industrial sponsor for a placement next week, backwards and forwards between Warwick and Cheshire for a bit, but I don't know how I'm getting there or where I am staying yet so it doesn't feel real. I think once I get there I might get some motivation back for my PhD, but at the minute I am definitely just plodding along...

P.S. sorry for the fed up blogging! I'll get back into it soon...


- 5 comments by 4 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. lizith

    Thank you for such an honest blog. I suspect we all have times like you describe when we can’t, or won’t, get on with the phd work. I know I’ve been wading through treacle for last month and resorting to junk fiction to occupy my time. Like you I need to get my motivation back, but it seems to have gone on a long holiday! Do hope the industrial placement helps get you back on course and that you find a way to get some writing done.

    01 Mar 2012, 08:53

  2. Ceren Kaya

    I think the lack of concentration and motivation may come from strange weather if your mood can be affected by this…

    01 Mar 2012, 10:19

  3. Anna Sloan

    This is, like, the story of my whole PhD. Don’t worry too much, though – over the course of such a long project, it’s natural to have ups and downs in motivation. You’d have to be a machine not to. Once you get stuck in again, I bet it will get finished quickly!

    02 Mar 2012, 07:30

  4. Bernadette Divall

    I think the problem with PhD kind of work is that we feel we must be on it at all times, no matter what. But I think it’s normal to have downtime. The trick is not to feel bad about it! For myself, I’ve never managed that bit, but I do occasionally just write off a day and say, stuff it, I’m doing crochet. Or something! Sometimes, that’s the key to rediscovering your motivation – a change of scene, or a change of focus, or just switching the poor frazzled brain off!

    02 Mar 2012, 13:37

  5. Eleanor Blatherwick

    Thanks for the comments :) I’m feeling more positive this week, but it is only Monday! My presentation went well last week and I’m working on a poster for a conference I’m going to in May, which means I can also pinpoint other experiments I want/need to do in this area. Shame I can’t actually have any of this instrument time until April, but nevermind! I’ll try and stay positive this week, and update you all later!

    05 Mar 2012, 12:32


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