Subject area: Business
Department: Management IS
Pursuing degree: Masters
Badges:This user has not earned any badges yet. Click Here to Learn How
No questions asked.
I am a part-time PhD student in my third year of graduate school. I started from a Bachelor's Degree (instead of a Master's), so I had quite a bit of coursework to take for my degree. However, I am reaching the research portion of the degree and I am having trouble finding the time to carve out of my week to devote to research with a class and work and I also have a family as well. Is there anyone else in this situation? How do you find time to research? I usually only take one class per semester thinking I'll have some extra time for research but I never seem to have the time I want. I end up working my nights and weekends on homework for my class.
Time management is the key. It seems you are starting to get a little overwhelmed. Make a schedule for everything and ask your family to help you. If you have kids, ask them to help by making their own bed, taking their dirty laundry to the washing machine and putting dishes on the dishwasher. Ask friends to help you edit your papers or hire a professional editor to correct your papers for you.
Work with your boss to work 35 hrs per week instead of 40, or ask if you can work from home once a week. Focus on your research by accessing online journals from your phone, while on the run. If you're in traffic think about your research and record your ideas on your phone so you can transcribe it later. When going to out to a bar pick one who has free wifi so you can browse online journals while having a martini.
Organization, focus and energy are the keys. When you feel overwhelmed, take a brake. Take a day off from everything to center yourself. If you are struggling with your papers, hire an editor or ask friends to help edit your papers. If you have a family and your house is out of control, hire a housekeeper for a half day to help you organize your house or ask your family to help you clean your house. If you can't keep up work and school, work with your boss to work part-time and reduce your work hours. Make a schedule for everything. And ALWAYS no matter what, take 4 or 5 hours to have fun during each week. Rock climbing, dancing, flirting... whatever it is, always make time for the fun things you want to do. School is important but to have fun is also essenatial to help you keep relaxed and focused.
I am having a hard time with my thesis. I can't seem to get it started. I know once I start writing I will get it to flow, but I don't know how to begin. I don't want to be stuck on my first paragraph for 3 weeks. My thesis is on the differential responses of generalist and specialist insect herbivores on Arabidopsis mutant lines.
I took an academic writing course at Yale once and one of things I never forgot was that you need to relax before writing anything. Don't worry about spelling or grammar etc. One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing is thinking everything needs to come out publisher-ready in the first attempt. Start writing your paper about the topic you are most passionate about. Make an outline of everything it should be in your thesis and pick a topic to start. Don't try to write everything in order or you will get stuck. My writing professor at Yale always told us not to worry about editing, only worry about writing. Start writing and let it flow.