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Finding your ‘work groove’

One of the advantages of doing a PhD is having flexible hours, which allows you to work at a time and rhythm that suits you best. Some stick to regular fixed working hours, while others prefer to work when the inspiration hits. There can be periods when you end your day by 2pm and other times when you’ll lie in then work late into the night. There’s no right or wrong way to work, although consistency helps! Find what’s most effective for you.

The PhD is a project you will live with for 3 to 4 years. Be patient with yourself and prioritise your mental health. There will be periods when you end your day by 2pm and then there will be other times when you sleep in and work late into the night. Be flexible and allow your work rhythm to change as your needs change.

- Melony, Post-doc

It's a marathon not a sprint. Take your time. - Rosie, Year 4

If it works for you, set yourself a working routine. I tend to work 9-5(ish) in the office and then leave my PhD at university. Except for the last few months before submission, I didn't work evenings or weekends.

- Rosie, Year 4

Part of finding your work groove is about incorporating ‘active rest’ for yourself: this is time where you do other non-PhD related things while allowing thoughts to percolate. You may find that some of your best ideas come when you think you’re doing ‘nothing’!

- Jamie, Year 4

Do not judge yourself by the number of words on the page. Good research takes place in that gestation period when you’ve read and analysed everything you can and you’re trying to express those ideas in writing. The words will come. - Melony, Post-doc