In the spirit of helping the next generation of PhD-ers as well as those who, like me, have already begun to wade into in the deep end, I am participating in a sort of academic tell-all. Need a bit of context? Check out the first two posts in the #PhDTag series: Everything You Wanted (and Didn’t Want) to Know about Doing a PhD; Healthy Habits (What are Those?)
I was originally going to publish this post on productivity last week since I (fittingly enough) originally didn’t have much on my plate. However, in an ironic Alanis Morisette-esque twist, it ended up being a surprisingly busy week. And yet, I felt like I didn’t do very much at all.
First there was the latest skirmish in my seemingly never-ending battle to learn something about statistics. Then, two meetings ended up being scheduled very last minute and required preparation both before and after the actual meetings, which meant that they ended up taking up a very large chunk of time. It also just so happened to be the week of the TESOL Spain convention, which was hectic and time consuming in its own right, but at least I got to keep the lanyard.
Even though I spent the week working on problems, running from place to place, prepping for this meeting or that, at the end of it all, it still felt like I hadn’t gotten very much done.
This is a feeling I remember well from the throes of writing my Master’s thesis, where I would spend hours hunched over the computer, only to end up with something at the end of the day that looked remarkably similar to its version that morning.
After many conversations commiserating with others in the same boat, I’ve dubbed this phenomenon “PhDroductivity.” I’m sure the term will be accepted into the OED any day now.
PhDroductivity: That feeling you get when you slave over something for an extended period of time, with little or no output to show for it.
“I spent eight hours completely rewriting my methodology section, only to decide that I liked the original better. It was a really PhDroductive day.”
Of course, PhDroductivity isn’t necessarily limited to the academic sphere. It could also be applied to other contexts in which a lot of time and effort is devoted to a particular activity, only to later feel that not very much has been accomplished.
Stay tuned for the next #PhDTag installment: Getting Up Close and Personal.
Also make sure to check out what the other PhD participants have started saying about their own experiences and productivity hacks. They are a pretty fine bunch of leading ladies.
Absolutely Elisabeth, Academique Rose, Average Grad, Bookworm in Gh, Graduate Perspective, Kaitlyn Mae, The Lit Scholar, Mariel Fresh, Mason and Miles, Nerd to Fit, Okidokiboki, Peace with Sha, PhD Mum, Scholar Culture, Sujanee, Yeka Science
Can you relate to the feeling of being PhDroductive? Do you sometimes feel like you’re on a hamster wheel to nowhere when it comes to getting things done?
Update: check out the full #PhDTag series Everything You Wanted (and Didn’t Want) to Know About Doing a PhD, Healthy Habits (What are those?), PhDroductivity, Getting Up Close and Personal