Philippa’s Blog – 25 March 2014

On Wilful Blindness

Well the hard work continues here. I’ve now revised Chapters 1 to 7 of my thesis and integrated them into the final **SINGLE THESIS DOCUMENT**. There might be some further changes to these chapters, but I’m creeping forwards towards submission. Chapters 8 and 9 still need revising and integrating into the single document, but today I’m having a rare day off!

Tasks are usually time limited by an external source. When you take exams, you know that the exam happens on the scheduled date and that’s the end of it. When I did my MSc dissertation, I had to give something in for the deadline or my mark would be reduced by at least 20%. But PhDs just aren’t like that – I’ve written before that it can genuinely feel never-ending.

Since May I’ve been working harder than ever before. A PhD certainly is a marathon task. I’ve found it incredibly hard, when working flat out for months at a time, not to become completely overwhelmed by the scale of the task and everything that is left to do. As such, I try to implement the technique of wilfully blinding myself to everything beyond the task in hand. So for a few days, I’ve only been focussing on Chapter 7 when at my desk; and I’ve been trying really hard not to become swamped by the thought that I still have to tackle Chapters 8 and 9, and then I have to go through the whole thing again! Doing this helps me to focus on just the task in hand, trying to forget the outcome and thoughts of what happens next. That way I tend to get somewhere, which is better than wasting hours researching alternative careers and pondering how to fill the PhD-shaped gap in my CV…..


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