Finding of the week #324

A Long Weekend with my PhD Thesis

During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!

This week: This time, I think even more about the final push towards finishing the PhD thesis.

This Thursday was a bank holiday and so I took Friday off to gain four consecutive days at home. As I am currently doing the final push towards finishing the thesis, these four days are great as they allow me to focus on my thesis uninteruptedly. Today is already the third day of this long and intimate weekend with my thesis. Thus far, my plan worked out well as I could make some great progress: most of my primary goals are already completed!

Also, I received feedback from two friends at work which I already implemented in my thesis. Asking others to proofread such an important text is always helpful. Over time, one simply overlooks typos and other minor things. I am super thankful for every comment I receive despite causing even more work that needs to be done.

While this might sound great to an outstander, it does not feel like this right now. Friends who already got their PhDs fully agree with me and confirm that it is a very stressful but good approach to finally get it done for once and for all. As already stated in last week’s entry, it requires a lot of discipline continue working on the thesis while simultaneously facing the usual chores.

By now, I read this text so many times that I just do not want to see it again, but there are still a lot of things left to be checked, unfortunately. Despite giving me a lot of time to focus on the thesis, this long weekend makes me feel as if I am stuck in some kind of hamster wheel or working on a Sysiphean task.

Thus, I cannot stress enough the importance of having an activity that completely distracts one from the thesis. This might be counterintuitive at first, but it really helps to regain some energy which, in return, is beneficial for the writing process. In my very case, it is endurance sports, i.e., running, cycling or swimming. During these acitivities, I can forget the thesis for a few moments and sometimes even find new inspirations to solve some leftover problems.

In contrast to most other articles I wrote in this blog, the last two entries are not related gaming. Instead, they are about the process of working on a PhD thesis which is a very demanding task. I mostly write them to document my finals steps before submitting my thesis, but I also hope that it will give some other researchers some inspiration and the energy to continue on working on their projects.