All entries for March 2014

March 21, 2014

Keeping calm and carrying on

Hi all,

As the end of another working week approaches, I thought I'd take a minute to reflect! This week has been busy, but more stressful then anything! Laboratory work always takes longer than I expect and I'm increasingly aware of time passing by and the need to get down to writing!

I also have to learn how to use a new program for data analysis, so this has made me feel slightly apprehensive! I want to take time to learn how to use the program, but at the same time I just want to have a look at the data to find out what I need to do with my protocol so that I can get on with preparing samples while learning about the program.

A few times this week, I've felt that strange feeling of almost something stuck in your throat when you feel the stress rising! I've tried to remain calm and focused and tackle this by trying to get things done rather then worrying about how long they take or what time I have left.

So, my focus at the moment is to stay on task and keep calm! If anyone has any further suggestions on how to remain calm to stay productive - please provide them!

Hope you've all had a good and productive week!

March 06, 2014

Settling back in and thesis planing!

Well, I'm now halfway through my third week back after completing my placement with my industrial partner and I'm finally starting to feel like I know what I'm doing again!

After spending a bit of time in the office and in the lab focusing again on my PhD, my concentration and ability to plan and execute ideas has been improving! Admittedly the first week back wasn't as productive as I would've liked - between trying to get Dolly the puppy into a routine that involved sleeping at night and preparing a presentation for my lab meeting, I was a bit slow getting other tasks done!

Now, I'm feeling more focused and productive, hopefully this lasts! I'm acutely aware that I'm rapidly approaching the last six months of my PhD and so I have been focusing on what I need to get done in the lab and planning my thesis. The quicker I can start to get into a routine of writing, the better! It always takes me a little time to be able to write in the style I need to for my thesis. I need to spend time recapping what I have written and how this fits into my latest thesis plan to make a start. So, I'm now at the point of less talking more writing! I'm going to push myself to get a move on with it, but I'm also working hard on getting my lab work finished - no results = no thesis!

Overall though, I can't complain about how things are going! Another member of my lab has been using my protocol and cannot believe how I've managed to keep ploughing through it without having a breakdown so its reassuring that I've remained calm and determined throughout!

Even though I do enjoy the lab work, I'm looking forward to finishing it for my PhD so that after nearly four years I can start to pull together the story of my research. Dolly is sleeping through the night, so I'm able to concentrate during the day now so I've no excuse! I'm also about to start some discussion on potential future research post-PhD so all in all its an exciting and nerve-racking time!

All the best to my fellow PhD'ers and near end of PhD'ers!

March 2014

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