I just started my Phd and I JUST changed my topic. I really want to read and submit the literature review that I am supposed to hand in to my supervisors, but due to family/financial problems, my mind is constantly elsewhere, I cannot focus and I when I read, I cannot recall what I read!
I started a month ago, and only read 5 articles for my Phd thus far :(
I am worried :(
Everyone is well ahead and knows everything about their literature, and I am here, thinking about other things.
You've just started. I know this is early, but can you suspend studies for a few months to at least deal with the family problems and reasses the situation come January?
When I started the PhD and found that I cannot concentrate, I used this trick that works for me.
So, I start writing for 30 minutes non stop (with a timer). So, because you HAVE to write something, you start writing what is in your mind. Writing my problems, frees my mind (is like opening a little drawer and putting them there). So after I am done writing all my personal issues, I move on to the PhD, writing everything I know about the topic, and what are the main aims, and how I will achieve them. It is very entertaining to read these old notes, as you can actually see your PhD growing claws and wings and teeth :). Especially in the first year, it feels like you haven't made any progress at all, because this refinement of ideas is a very natural process.
You have just started a month ago- 5 articles during the 1st month seems ok to me. (Correct me if I misunderstood what you wrote).
Don't worry so much about other people. Just focus on your work. Sometimes people seems to know more and very much advanced in the research, but actually they are just in same boat as you.
When I couldn't focus while doing my PhD, I told myself to think about work between 8am-5pm. After that, then only I focused on my problem. Writing about the problems, listing the options, pros and cons for each of the options helped me to think less about the problem during working. Talking to people and taking actions after listing the those things also help.
Ian, i paid the rent and was threatened tht if i moved out, i would no longer be welcome back home. I arranged accommodation without telling them bc i really wanted to live more independently. But now it looks like this independence is going to cost me my family. That's what i keep thinking about: family (esp parents are unwell) or autonomy? I cannot even think about my phd. It's gona be month and this has been tormenting me since.
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