London

It’s day five and I have managed at least nine hours a day since getting here.  I should be able to do more considering I have NOTHING else to do.  I’ve even managed to get access (via sconul) to a local university library which makes my daily ‘commute’ a 15-minute walk.  Yes.  There are no excuses.  I am fortunate and extremely thankful.

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This week I managed to complete the structure of the second part of my theoretical framework (this would have taken me three weeks in Kuwait).  I should be able to send my supervisor a draft of the whole thing early next week.  He already has the first part (I sent it before I travelled) which he is reviewing and we will discuss soon.  Unfortunately, the same weekend I moved to London, he left fora 3-week trip to Canada.  It will therefore still be via Skype when we eventually speak again.  I hope to see him in person as soon as he returns.

Difficult but exciting time.  Difficult because I miss my wife and kids.  Difficult because I have left everything for her to manage (as well as helping me with my research).  Difficult but necessary.  Feels great to take control again.

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The Other Way Around

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.