PhD Blogs – February 2018 (Month 5)

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February is a short month, which is probably why I feel like it has flown by. It’s been very busy but I still feel like I haven’t accomplished as much as I would have liked with the time.

I have being attempting #writesaidfeb and it has made me realise how much pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect and have our ideas pinned down before we are willing to start working. I actually learnt about this before in an evening psychology class at Kirklees College, but it seems I needed this challenge as a reminder.

The teacher talked about ‘The 3 P’s of OCD’ and how she found out she had it, in a stroke of coincidence it was much the same as I did, right in a classroom learning about OCD via a teacher telling them about the 3 P’s of OCD. Obviously, I more than just slightly resonated with her storytelling, I was realising it was why I had struggled up until that point. This knowledge helped me learn more about myself and without her story or advice I do not think I would be doing my PhD today.

The 3 P’s of OCD are: Perfectionism, Procrastination, and Paralysis, if you are looking to find out more about this or you find yourself believing you have a similar issue or imposter syndrome – I recommend giving this website a look through. There are also some handy hints and tips on how to tackle this.

I actually believe that this is a very common trait if researchers who feel the pressure of imposter syndrome and I guess this is a personal flaw that I will also continue to challenge throughout my life. It is crazy to think that so many of us are preconditioned to self-sabotage in the pursuit of perfection. Instead, I try to apply the mindset of ‘progress not perfection’. Now I aim to hit a word count rather than create the perfect end product.

That being said #writesaidfeb has been a minor struggle due to a few personal issues and life just generally getting in the way. I have however, hit and surpassed the aim of writing 5,000 words, though they have not all been on the literature review I am still incredibly glad that I took part in this challenge as it has made me realise that I need to apply better time management in my life.

I think actually understanding the difference between how much time I have to work on tasks and how much time I actually use. This is what I am sure will be the key to successfully writing my thesis in the future months and years.

This month I have seen progress with two of my projects which are overall very exciting, I don’t want to jinx them though so I will not discuss until after I have made more progress.

I have also attended training for a STEM outreach program called ‘People Like Me’, I wrote a piece for the University of Huddersfield about the experience which I recommend checking out if you are interested in doing the same.

I have been working on my freelancing at 3MBIC this month too but I have decided to cut down my hours and focus on some amazing opportunities coming my way! More on those soon.

Next month will probably fly by as fast as the last two. I will be staring the month in Berlin on a personal trip with my Dad. My Dad was born in Germany but has not returned since (over 60 years ago). We’re going to explore the city and hopefully have an amazing time.

When I get back I will be attending the PGR open day, helping to host one of the stalks there and answering some questions.

Finally, after that amazing start to the month. I will, be adopting a collie cross from Dante’s Dream. A foster agency that rescues and socialises dogs to better their chances of finding a forever home.

Then later in the month I will be doing my TAPP training. March is due to be jam packed and I absolutely cannot wait.

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