Accountability Partners- Finishing your thesis on time.


How is everyone on this tread doing?

I've ended up only just finishing the to-do list that I posted 3 days ago today... It's a big relief as I can now begin to address the revision of the next chapter, but at the same time I am feeling hugely disappointed in myself that I am now 3 days behind schedule! And my fiance wants to go to the beach tomorrow! As much as I love the idea of some r&r right now, I know I'm going to feel really guilty about not constantly working on my thesis.

What are your strategies for not feeling guilty whenever you're not working?

Avatar for BlackTrinity

I feel really guilty too when I'm not working on my thesis. Haven't got much done this week as I had to focus on sorting out a job application and do some job searching but did manage a couple of sub-sections albeit small ones.

I would totally go to the beach tanemahuta, take some r&r and spend some quality time with your fiance before getting back to it all refreshed, you'll probably be glad for it in the long run. I was so tired one day last week that all I did was reference a section and write a quick to-do list which made me feel less guilty for working-took me about 30 mins but I felt better about watching a movie with the hubby after.

I have to have a prolific weekend on the writing front as I told my sup I'd hoped to give him an intro draft this week-oops. Only 4 weeks till my 3 year funded period is up so need to get my lab work finished, and try and get more writing done and find a job. So I want to have finished my immune response section by the end of this weekend-fingers crossed! But I think I definitely want to be giving my sup a draft asap.

Hope everyone is well!!

Avatar for Caterpillar27

Hi All,
Thanks for the congrats - it feels good to have a paper accepted, but also scary!

Well done tanemahuta for getting to the end of your to do list! And keep going Black Trinity!

Anyway I got Chapter 7 finished and sent to sups yesterday, so at least some progress last week. I want to get started on chapter 8 today and hopefully have a fair bit written by next weekend! So one major goal for this week:
1) Write as much of Chapter 8 as I can (at least 6,000 words)!

Fingers crossed some sort of momentum will sweep me up! I will probably just plan the chapter today as off out to a BBQ later.

Keep it up everyone xx

Avatar for wanderingbit

Hey All,

one new week starting for me as well. Last week I managed 4 out of the 7 points of my to-do list...which is..don't know, not good and not bad either I guess? The reliability test I needed to with my second sup was on standby because he had no time to look at it, it should be finished this week, I hope!

So, now new goals for the this week, which will be a short one (leaving on Thursday to attend a good friend's wedding in Italy..and I still need to find time to shop for a dress!! ggghhh) :

1) Complete reliability test block 1
2) Revise codes block 1
3) Prepare draft conference paper

Tanemahuta, hope you had a great day at the beach, and you're now recharged and refreshed! Black Trinity: how was your writing weekend? Fingers crossed for you and Caterpillar27 for your writing goals this week!!



I am sure this information will help large number of people to focus on some of the important aspects of the topic.

Avatar for BlackTrinity

Hey guys. (Btw i know my username is a bit long-i couldn't have just trinity so put the 'black' on to make it different so feel free to just use Trin :D)

My writing weekend wasn't too bad wanderingbit-thanks for asking. Although I did start getting a cold which I'm currently dosed up on medication for- not what I wanted I must admit.

Managed to finish writing my immune response section on Monday evening, well the text portion, just need to go through and reference everything through endnote, including downloading the reference files, and that is those done, only have about 3 sub sections to reference and they're smallish so will definitely be finished tomorrow, maybe even in between lab work.I have two more subsections to write and then I can give my sup a draft, do need to create a couple of figures though so I should be able to give him it either Friday or over the weekend.

wanderingbit:-Hope you manage/d to find a dress! Caterpillar:- How was the BBQ?
And please tell me you went to the beach and had some fun Tanemahuta?

Trin x


Hey everybody!

Checking in again and I hope you are having a productive week so far!

Wanderingbit & Trin - yeah I did end up going to the beach which was beautiful and took the rest of the weekend off too! I am so glad I did in retrospect because by taking a little break I was able to see the forest instead of focusing on pruning individual branches off a tree... on Monday I had a bit of a revelation and got really excited scribbling notes on paper and now I feel like my work is finally coming together. As I was walking to the library this morning I reflected on how I felt about my work 6 months ago feeling totally hopeless not knowing when I would finish or how I would be able to wade through all the data I had collected... and 6 months later I feel like I finally know what I'm trying to say and know that if I continue to apply myself everyday I will be done soon.

This week I'm focusing on a subsection of chapter 5, about 2000 words - the rest should come together in another week.

Trin - sounds like you're on a roll and know exactly what you're doing! I hope you got the section out of the way and that your lab work is going well. Caterpillar are you still on target for September deadline? I have two more chapters to rewrite then I'll be tidying up for about a month before hand-in by the end of August. Wanderingbit - a year is plenty of time to get sorted - I ended up revising my work substantially, but if you have support around you, you can survive a few hiccups! My philosophy is to get it right first time for submission so I won't need to revise as much later, which is complicated by the fact that my funding has run out and I really need to get a job soon!

What about the rest of you - Liah, Labpixie, fobbled, Clupea et al?



Hello everyone,
I hope you are all having a productive week and getting closer to achieving your goals.

As for me, its been a very hectic week. But I am not complainig as I managed to solve a significant issue with my controller and now finally its working! (Yaay!) Although it is not the main controller for my system, just the benchmark model. But still feels great to have achieved something.

So, my goal for next week is to focus on designing the MAIN controller for the system.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and a productive week ahead.

Tanemahuta- Hope your Chapter is going well. Happy writing!
BlackTrinity- Way to go! Its seems you're close to the finish line. Good luck!
Caterplillar- Congratulations that your paper got accepted. That reminds me I'm supposed to be working on a paper too over the weekend. Supervisor sent me a last minute notice and I still haven't started yet.

Good luck everyone!

Liah xx

Avatar for BlackTrinity

YAY! I finally got my draft intro sent to my sup.

Tane- I'm so glad you went. I knew the step back would help. I love doing that.
Liah- Yay for resolving your issue- its all progress.

Hope everyone else has had productive weeks.

Now that I have the intro out of the way I need to start working on results chapters, so I need to draft out/plan my figures so then I can write around them. So this week I need to get the first results chapters figures drafted and confirmed with my sup.
I also have a meeting with a non-lab colleague who I helped a couple of months ago with some lab work. I analysed her data and sent her the results but need to explain what I did to her for when she writes her own thesis.
And I have an informal meeting with someone in my uni about a job they have advertised so think I should read a few of their more recent papers to get a bit of background knowledge.

Keep at it everyone and hope you all had a good weekend.

Trin x

Avatar for Caterpillar27

Hi All,
I hope everyone is getting on well and moving forward with their work :)

I had quite a good week last week, but need to turn up the tempo again this week!

I have one goal:

1) Finish chapter 8!

tanemahuta - yes I'm still aiming to finish in September - it may be a bit ambitious, but I'm going to give it my all and see how far I get! If I need longer to improve the depth and quality of my work I will take it. Sept will be the end of my 3 years, if I have to take another month or two to improve the thesis I will. I would like to finish ASAP though! I hope you're getting on okay rewriting your chapters.

Liah - Well done for your work on your controller! I hope you get on well with the main controller :)

Trin - the BBQ was fab! It was for my son's rugby team. We had hot weather and a pool, which kept the children happy! Good luck with drafting your results chapters (and the job chat!).

wanderingbit - I hope you managed to achieve your goals and to enjoy the wedding :)

Good luck to everyone else this week too!



I know I've not posted much recently, but with typically wonderful timing I've been hit with a break up. Yay. So anyway, back to the PhD. Today I'm going to go into the lab and start working through my last experiments.

So far I've finished the first drafts of a couple of my results chapters, so need to get these results so I can write up the rest of them. Definitely need to get a draft of the introduction sorted soon too.

You all sound like you're doing really well, so keep it up and good luck!


Hi everybody,

Checking in again this week although it seems that the whole week is almost disappeared from right under me.

LabPixie - I am so sorry to hear about a break up. I hope you have some good friends around close by to help distract you and support you through this. Perhaps you can also bury yourself in work and get the best results out of it... in any case, take care of yourself and good luck with the tests!

Caterpillar - I am in a complete awe of your determination and ability to balance work AND family! I am entering the last few days of my 4 years and I still feel like I could use another 6 months to work on it if I was able to. I just received an email from my university informing me of my impending deadline and my jaw just about dropped to the ground! Gotta stay motivated and just wrap this puppy up for good!

Trin - would you be surprised if I told you I really spoilt myself and took another 4 days off work to hang out with friends after all of that? I have not progressed much since I last posted about my chapter 5, but after receiving a letter from my university I feel like my ass is on fire and I need to get back to work for real this time! No more holidays for me until it's done I'd say.

Liah - well done on getting so much work done and I hope the main controller design is going well!

50 more days until my deadline! And on that bombshell I'm back to the grind - I'm coming for you, chapter 5, and you'll be all packed up and out the door by the week's end!


Avatar for wanderingbit

Good morning everybody,

The past two weeks just rolled over without me being able to do much work, with one week 'lost' through holydays in Italy (Caterpillar: the wedding was simply fantastic!!! thanks!), some days gone to move to a new office here at the campus - and some chaos at home due to an unexpected 'surprise': I came back from Italy to find my parents in law waiting in front of my door to 'stay for the night'. With no warning!! And the 'night' now became a week and they don't seem to be leaving soon! - they simply seem to like to have holydays for free at our place...oh joy!

So now let's try to focus back on the work:

1) I still wasn't able to complete the reliability test and revise the codebook I need for chapter 6, so this should be an objective this week.
2) Then I have to draft a paper and send it for feedback to a professor who's expert in the kind of analysis I used (sooo scared!!! he's a real big name and I don't want him to read my draft and think it's crap!! and my sups are not going to read anything before I send it)
3) Draft the ppt for the paper I have to give at the conference in Vienna in August

Tane: 50 days! that sounds scary and exciting at the same time! Best luck with your chapter 5! Let us know how it progresses, I'm sure you'll get it out of the way quickly and smoothly!
Caterpillar: Hope your chapter 8 is going well! Good writing!
LabPixie: sorry to hear about the break up, good luck with your last experiments!
Liah and Trin: hope your work with your controller and results figures resp. is proceeding smoothly!

To all of you: a happy, motivated and effective working week!



Good morning!

I had a meeting with my supervisor yesterday which was great. Is it just me or does anyone else find that supervisor meetings are amazing for clearing your mind and refocusing? Either way, we've got another meeting planned for next week and I know exactly what my priorities are right now.

1) Draft the first half of chapter 4 so we can discuss it next week
2) Repeat a couple of experiments for chapter 5 (should be the last ones for chapter 5!)
3) Tidy up and edit first draft of chapter 5 ready to let supervisor see it

tanemahuta: Thanks. I definitely seem to be going for the bury myself in work approach. Productive days seem to be better! Hope chapter 5 is going well. 50 days to go must be quite the motivation!

wanderingbrit: Wow. That's the sort of surprise that would send me crazy! Whenever people visited when I was younger the first question would be "when are you leaving?" just because I liked to know what was happening!

Hope everyone's having a good week so far!


Hey guys,

I hope you are all having a productive week and getting closer to the FINISH Line :)

LabPixie- I find supervisor meetings beneficial too. But at the moment my supervisor cannot help me much as the controller I am working on is beyond his area of specialization. Hope your chapters 4 and 5 are going well.

Wanderingbit- Hope you've been able to focus with guests at home. I find it difficult too at times. But for me having in laws around means some help with child care. :)

Caterpillar27 and BlackTrinity- Looks like you are making some good progress there. Good luck with with your writing.

I had a very slow and frustrating week. Once I started on the design of the main controller I realized few technical issues I had overlooked in my entire design. That got me thinking if my design is feasible experimentally at all. So for the past few days, I've been trying to fix the issue and understand my
system better. I know this shouldn't have happened. But I guess this is what happens when you try to skip "the learning curve" and rush through things. A lessen learnt.

Tonight I decide to lay down a plan that will help me to fix the issue, design my main controller and successfully implement it experimentally! And stick to it for the next 45 days.

I wish you all a productive and great week ahead.