This time it’s different, I’ve been telling myself… This time will be different, I’ve been telling my wife. I just hope I’m right (and I believe I am). The job I mentioned I had risked by moving to London has materialised, and with the blessing of God I am now back in full-time employment since May 1st. The previous two months and immediately following my confirmation, I have been busy putting the ground work for what has become my new role in building a new government entity to support and fund SMEs.
Although it will take a huge share of my time, the challenge remains for me to balance my life and make time (and plenty of it) for my PhD work. The good news is that I am now looking at my methodology, questionnaire design, and tidying up my hypotheses – all of which exciting work and requires serious effort. However, it does not suffer as much as working on the literature review whenever I’m interrupted by work, or anything else. I can (almost) pick up and continue from I left off.
Summer will be a little slow with work pressure and a family holiday, but the autumn should see a significant drive. Until then, I must ensure a trickle of effort continues to flow so I don’t have to start again in a couple of months.
The most basic of time management skills would have taken me to where I need to be without much effort, yet somehow in my attempt to achieve good balance, I tipped everything over. The main victim has been my study time with work, family, social engagements and exercise taking over the rest of my time: on most days, in that order. Since February this year, I have been looking for scraps of time here and there for my study and this simply doesn’t work. A chat with my wife last week spelled out the very obvious. I need to make a change – and now. I have to do things the other way around.
Study time has to be set, respected and utilised. Life has to fit around my PhD. This is especially true with me switching to part time and thus requiring a somewhat lighter daily investment . Family stays number one (they let me get on with it more than any family could), work is no longer allowed to invade the rest of my time (not as much as it has been the past few weeks), exercise (not a luxury with my hypertension) will be shorter daily sessions instead of prolonged ones on alternate day. Everything else needs to push its way in.
This sounds logical and simple, but I have missed it completely. I feel a lot more positive now – even if I’m missing a major milestone as I type these words. I can see that with this new approach I can quickly catch up, and meet the other milestones set for the next twelve months.