You got to do what you got to do to get your PhD


I've just finished a bottle of chocolate milkshake off (as I prepare for my data collection tomorrow) and I noticed some writing on the side that, erm, really spoke to me: You gotta do what you gotta do to get your Yazoo! Now, I'm not really giving Yazoo free advertising or anything, but it made me wonder about a new idea for a thread.
I wonder if we can share ideas with one another on techniques we can use, on a daily basis, to get through our PhD. We already have the congratulations thread for when we want to feel fabulous about a minor achievement, and then we have the exercise thread as well. Somewhere on this forum we also have the Film Review Thread, and then there's also the Motivation Thread and also one that relates to what is good about doing a PhD. I've also contracted a serious case of 28 Days Later Syndrome, which means I've started to listen to zombie apocalypse audio books as I work away at home. Honestly, the number of times I hear in the day: 'The zombie shuffled towards the hysterical women, one eye ball hanging out of its socket, emitting a blood curdling groan'. Terrible writing for 14 year olds. Anyway, I digress...and am probably close to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
So, we have the threads, exercise, bits of chocolate and I would also like to add: music, BBC Radio 4, bits of TV, computer games (thanks Eska)...I've probably already exhausted all of the ideas, but it would be lovely if anyone could recommend anything else.


I sit up late into the night drinking coffee with spray cream and trying to trick myself into working.
I've just realised what a sad, depraved life this is.

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======= Date Modified 10 Mar 2010 08:39:24 =======
my hubby bought me a posh coffee maker - one that uses pods, and it sits on my desk, its supposed to motivate me. unfortunately it just means that I get whacked out on coffee all day so constantly need the toilet and am buzzing so much I can't concentrate. hmm. with a little self control it is useful though, as a reward and something to do in my tomatoes breaks.

I think I might implement the trampoline idea from the exercise thread though, although will mean having to wear a sports bra while doing work to avoid sagginess in later life - all that jumping.

I would like to add that i have an unhealthy obsession in teenage vampire fiction. And this week a very unhealthy obsession (to the point of changing my career) in the jon venables case - i can't hellp myself from googling things and reading more and more. I NEED TO STOP!


lol! love it! I manage to convince myself regularly that i simply can't work until I have cleaned and reorganised everything! all my papers, my journals, my pens and pencils, I even reorganise how files are stored on the computer. this has led inevitably to many occasions where I can't find anything anymore cos I've moved it from it's original place into 'somewhere better' my mum when she puts things away 'in a safe place'....never to be seen again! I've received christmas presents in june as she has just found them...
incidentally, this isn't just a phd thing, I remember convincing my dad that I couldnt possibly begin studying for my GCSE's until I had shelves put up in my room so I could organise myself and all my study notes :-)


Well, I feel somehow granny old/very mumsy by admitting to this - but I crochet in the evenings to relieve the PhD stress.. and I recently started knitting.. It is very soothing, doing a repetitive action without having to think much and you are creating some lovely fabric.. (made scarfs, purses/bags - all useful so far).. I do watch telly or listen to the radio whilst doing it, which might sort of undo some of the relaxation effect (with trying to keep all senses occupied..mmm). Also, in order to keep going and remain sane, I have felt the need to simply my life to the extent that I am either at home or at university .. only weekends are times for friends/citycentre visits/shopping etc... it's sad, right, I do feel I am losing touch with the real world out there sometimes..
And hey - this postgradforum and the entertaining/supportive posts, well, that's kept me going day in, day out - no doubt:-x


Stationery - everytime I need to get a new notebook, printer cartridge or whatever I find I spend loads in Staples on pens (needed as the ones provided by work are rubbish), clips in nice colours, things to get my literature organised (which is not working at the moment), post it notes in all sorts of size / color combinations.


Quote From jepsonclough:

Stationery - everytime I need to get a new notebook, printer cartridge or whatever I find I spend loads in Staples on pens (needed as the ones provided by work are rubbish), clips in nice colours, things to get my literature organised (which is not working at the moment), post it notes in all sorts of size / color combinations.

No Jepsonclough, don't do that - there's ways to get things for free like pens. I'm going to tell you the Story of 300 Pens, and will save you a fortune in the process...

I was short on pens and short on money a while ago. I'm not a skin flint, but I don't like spending money I don't have on things if I can get them for free. So, I decided to call up recruitment agencies and tell them I was a lecturer doing a presentation for my undergrads and did they have any information or materials about themselves that I could provide to my students. "Yes, no problem Mr...we can send you some company post-it notes, information, application forms and some company pens to hand out to the students during your lecture. They thought I was giving them free advertising. Actually, they were giving me a lifetime's supply of free pens and post-it notes. The only problem is all my pens are the same and have Mediplacements written on them.

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That's such a brilliant idea! I will do that. Did you ask for them to be sent to your home address, or to the unversity?


Yeah, it's free stationary and you can ditch anything you don't need, like the application forms. I got them to very happily send me the pens and stuff in big fat parcels to my home address. Seriously, they're recruitment consultants, so they're only too happy to do this since it potentially means more customers and commission their way.


Great idea but I am REALLY picky about the pens etc I use so monthly trips to Staples are my treat (I get pencils, post its etc form work). I'm very into mini clips at the moment (yes I know small things amuse small minds) and those special post it little page markers.


======= Date Modified 11 Mar 2010 21:37:47 =======
I require tea, constant high quality tea in a huge mug. It is the same mug that I have had since I was an undergraduate. No other mug will do. I have spent so many all-nighters, bad times, and good times with that mug. I must have my thesis tea in it.

I am a sad individual who will retire the mug when I finish. And get my teeth whitened to remove the tea tanins. ;-)

Edit: I just worked out that the mug is...6.5 years old.


For me, it's constantly running to the staff kitchen to get coffee - the amount I drink is absolutely disgusting! My poor stomach by the end - but at least I'll have a PhD! :)


Ooooh I LOVE those mini clips and page markers :-x

I too drink a horrible amount of tea, in a big mug (I mean HUGE) all day. Its quite tragic actually and my teeth are a state - I think prior to graduation whenever that might be I will have to invest in teeth whitening too :$

I so wish I hadn't read this thread, its got me thinking about Staples (I am incredibly fussy - I like those pens with the 4 colours in them - normal biros make my hands hurt too much and I like writing in different colours (lilac atm)) I also love pretty paper, I don't have any, my desk is ermm, omg....... I can't find a bl**dy thing! And yes, I have 'safe places', as my daughter says, 'safe in the knowledge we'll never find it again' :$ I've lost a bunch of articles to a 'safe place' or they may just be on my desk... hmmmmm.... may have to tidy it up - but then I should carry on with the data collection I'm doing atm..... but what if i lose that too???? It needs stapling, i have no staples.... me thinks that just maybe I'll be in the shop tomorrow ;-)


Here are the things that keep me going:
Visualising myself in the cathedral at graduation.
Working out what on earth to wear with the graduation gear - someone suggested white, but then I'd look like a P&O ferry docking in Dover!
Those mini post-its page markers - they're irresistible! I bought a new packet of 5000 in a pound shop the other day, even though I still have half the last pack left. Useful for messages too, like 'take cheese to work'.
Finding amusement in the possibility of being called 'Dr Mog' one day!
Telling myself that 80,000 words is just a 2000 word essay, every week, for 10 months - and I can do that.
Writing something every day - I'm (roughly) sticking to that & it feels OK.


======= Date Modified 15 Mar 2010 14:31:48 =======
The key to getting my PhD (although by no means proven to lead to success... yet), is to keep myself entertained.

Writing, reading, thinking... these things can be dull. So, I learn useless information and think of ways to use it to make me laugh.

One favourite from last year was to make origami animals. My aim was to build my way up to the infamously difficult origami shark (I did not reach this target).

My current form of entertainment is Eddie Stobart trucks. I'm doing a lot (LOT) of driving at the moment, and found out that it is in company policy that if you wave at an Eddie Stobart truck, the driver has to wave back!! If he doesn't, you can report him which will lead to a disciplinary (I'm not mean enough to do this). So I have taken to waving as a means of entertaining myself on long career-related journeys. I also quite like spotting random stuff being carried on trucks. Last week I saw a tank, a massive drilling devise, a house and another truck all being towed on trucks (not the same truck carrying all though). Endless fun!