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Rabu, 4 Mac 2009

Beat 8 problems common to PhDs

Got this from It is time to make a review for my PhD progress. 1 year and 3 months already gone "by the wind". 1 year and 9 months to go. InsyaAllah.

"Although all PhD projects and postgraduate researchers are different, there are problems that many will face. In this section we point you to other areas of this site that can help you to find a way around these. Thinking positively is usually the first step to achieving your goals and it might help to know that many students have faced and overcome similar difficulties.

What is stopping you? Make these strategies work for you.
  • Laziness / lack of motivation - Set yourself short term tasks. Make your first attempts easy and achievable. Get someone to help. Identify what motivates you. Give yourself regular rewards.

  • Lack of self confidence - Seek positive feedback. Try to stretch yourself. Look for safe opportunities to try new things out. Don't undersell yourself. Complete the skills assessment to demonstrate how much you have to offer.

  • Poor time management - Look at your major time stealers and see how they can be reduced. Give yourself realistic time to achieve your objectives. Allow time for reflection. Prioritise.

  • No focus or direction - Start by increasing your self awareness. Try lots of different experiences and eliminate the ones you dislike. Keep open minded and flexible, but try to focus over time. Use the advice on this site in your research and your future.

  • Limited support - Build your own support network. Get a mentor. Try and work in teams. Recognise the signs of being in a rut - 'I'm too busy', 'Too many other things to think about'. Improve your relationship with your supervisor.

  • Comfort zone - Recognise your comfort zone - have you stopped learning? Try continually to stretch yourself, volunteer for presentations, take on new responsibilities. Look at our examples of goal setting. Go on a GRADschool.

  • Fear of failure / taking risks - You can learn more from your failures than successes: they are often catalysts for positive change in the medium/long term. Don't take it personally. Remember that you are TRAINING to be a researcher. Understand what is expected of you and know where you can find support.

  • Lack of relevant experience - Identify where your gaps are. Creatively explore all options and seize opportunities - Maximise your impact as a postgraduate researcher. Apply your skills in different contexts.
With acknowledgement to 'The Art of Building Windmills', Dr Peter Hawkins, 1999, ISBN 0953598004,"

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