Motivation in the sun


Just wanted to start a thread to keep motivation up over the summer. Struggling as the sun is shining outside and my office looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie - I'm completely alone with nobody here to remind me to focus on my work.

This thread is to keep productivity and motivation up, so anyone feeling like reporting on their progress, expressing their frustration or asking for feedback are welcome to do so.

I have three weeks before I leave for a minor (but epic) holiday with friends. In the meantime, I'm writing on my thesis. Just got my first article accepted with minor revisions, which didn't burst my motivation as much as I expected, but hopefully enough to keep me going over the summer. I need to revise my article and hopefully write a huge chunk on my second so my supervisor can look at it during my holiday. It will require a bit of self-discipline, so I hope I'm not as alone in this forum as I am at my uni at the time. =)


You're not alone... I've been here all weekend, just days from final submission to supervisors and I can't freaking wait to be rid of this thesis and enjoy the sunshine!


You're definitely not alone.

I'm doing a full time PhD with a full time job and really struggle to get motivated on my days off. I've had a few extra days off this week so have got some done but it is a struggle to keep going. What is your PhD in?


Ah, so good to know I'm not alone =)

TreeofLife, good luck with your final submission!! I can't wait for my own submission either, although it's not visible in the horizon just yet. I admire anyone who have come to this point, as I already struggle a bit with self-discipline now that I feel like I'm done (with my synthesis/analysis) but still need to write the frigging thing.

clairaN, my topic is within decision support in engineering design. What is yours? I will soon be in your shoes as I'm starting a full time research position next month, and have to finalize my thesis on my spare time. Hopefully, it will be so painful that I become more focused, spending more time on writing than on internet funny. Any tip on how to combine PhD with a full time job (and avoid procrastination) is much appreciated =)


I'm still figuring out how to avoid procrastination. As daft as it sounds I have started going early morning swimming on my days off which forces me to get up early and be there for 7.30 then by the time I get home and have breakfast it's 9.30am and I'm ready to crack on. It's the only thing that works for me, if I don't get up and go I will usually put the tv on while I have breakfast and then end up watching crap tv until noon. I do still have days where I have no notion whatsoever but it does make it easier for me. You just need to find what works for you, if your job is 9-5 ish then I would suggest that you try and have at least one evening a week where you relax and do anything you want, go out with friends or chill in front of the tv with a bottle of wine, just have a PhD free evening.

My PhD is looking at the long-term psychological effects of emotional abuse experienced in childhood. I try to avoid studying too late at night because I have a lot of case studies and things to read on different experiences of abuse and I hate going to bed with all that on my mind but others find studying until late works better for them.


I am totally motivate by the sun. It arrives here in the Northwest tomorrow so the second edit of my methodology will be finished by then ready for 4 days of sunbathing before I have my 2nd year review :D


Hi guys!

Yesterday was a minor milestone for me as I finished some stuff I've working towards this spring, so now I'm a bit in that post-deadline vacuum. Luckily, I had to move to a new office space today, which is a perfect exercise for days like this. Thursday will be exceptionally warm, so I'll have to work efficiently today and tomorrow so I can take the day off.

ClairaN, thanks for the advice! I've been planning to introduce morning exercises as well as it puts in a productive and constructive state of mind. Also, I need to get my schedule back, now it's all over the place. I hardly get anything done before noon nowadays, and as much as I suspect that my mind actually is mostly effective after that point, I desperately need to start sparing some hours to myself. It's just not healthy thinking about my thesis 24 hours a day (I dream about it to, of course).

Your topic is so important and so interesting! I admire anyone who takes on research or other work related to social problems, especially the kind you're working on. I wish you all the luck!

As for my own topic, although I'm professionally motivated, I feel like my topic isn't aligned with my values. I come from environmental sciences, but what I work on doesn't add much to solving environmental problems. It doesn't kill my motivation, but that extra dimension just isn't there, and now I just want to finish (so I can start working on topics that are more important to me).


It makes it so much harder putting so much work into a topic that just doesn't do it for you. I keep thinking about my end point, not in terms of finishing the thesis/PhD but in terms of how I want my research to be used to help children suffering abuse. I know it's highly unlikely to actually get used in the field but that's what I think about when I have those days where I just want to jack it all in, so it does help to be working on a topic that is important to you.

I used to be the same with keeping to a schedule, I don't know where the time goes between getting up and the afternoon arriving. You could use that time to have to yourself if that's what works for you and just work on your research from noon until 8pm, that gets in your typical 9-5 hours, just a bit later in the day. Having a few hours to yourself or with friends is definitely important though, otherwise by the end of the PhD you may have forgot how to interact with people and you will become a social recluse.