Life is full of distractions at the moment. I began 2015 with all the best intentions and made a list of rules that I would stick by to make sure I put a generous number of hours into my research. The list takes into account that I need a social life, but also need to make sure I spend time on my PhD. (I will clarify that I work full time, usually in office hours Monday to Friday, but sometimes a little outside those hours as well.)
Here is my list:
- Spend a little time each day doing something PhD related – reading an article, making notes or writing something substantial.
- Have one weekend a month off. This is social life time, visit someone, get out of the house.
- On other weekends allow myself to go out in the evening or watch TV, play a board game and be social if I have been studying through the day.
- Take opportunities as they come, fill in ‘spare’ time with studying if appropriate.
I stuck to this through January and have been incredibly productive, but February has come with it’s own challenges. These challenges are:
- Six Nations Rugby
- Incredibly good TV shows on demand
- Special events with my family and friends
Maybe it is because February is a short month (maybe I am looking for excuses). My office space is also messy, which is distracting as I want to tidy it but feel it would be wasting my time. Maybe I should dedicate an evening to clearing it properly so it is less distracting.
During my last two degrees I was focused, I had set targets and found it easy to put time aside to study. Apart from the set targets, which is something I can fix myself and which may help no end with this, I am looking for hints and tips to avoid getting distracted.
The cat is very supportive, she encourages people to read books.
So, any suggestions or anecdotes on avoiding distractions? Comments below please!