Weeks 92 and 93: Coffee break with colleagues and my birthday

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I have been working on my conference paper by clarifying descriptions, adding more references and grouping data more precisely. I have also submitted my proposal for a conference taking place in Hong Kong next year.

 

A reason to be unmotivated

Two weeks ago, I was struggling a bit to stay motivated and listening to audiobooks on how to be productive. (I love The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins.) But I found that the fundamental issue for me came from a sense of isolation related to working from home. I realised this after I attended a research seminar on campus and had a nice long coffee break with my PhD colleagues for the first time in 10 months.

I was away from campus between January and May this year to conduct my fieldwork. When I returned, the academic year was ending so I had few opportunities to meet up with my colleagues before they left for their summer holidays.

Having a peaceful place and a quiet serene time at home is fantastic, sometimes. But my colleagues and I talked over coffee about how daily interactions with someone who understands what you are doing is important for our PhD lives.

In my two years as a PhD student, I have found that the most effective ways to be motivated or to recover from crises are talking to colleagues and exchanging feedback with one another about writing, a tiny mistake, relationship with supervisors, life, whatever!

My colleague Sara told me that I must get through the current stage − chapter revisions − before starting my third year. The methodology chapter needs to be elaborated well enough to justify analytical dimensions when I start my third year. She said this is something I must be more serious about and I sincerely appreciate her comments. The relationship between PhD students is very much cooperative.

 

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Thursday dinner: creamy cheese and potato bake
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Friday dinner: carbonara

 

My birthday

I am celebrating my birthday today! Luca and I had planned to travel to York this weekend, but unfortunately, he got the flu so we decided to stay home. Last night we very much enjoyed dinner and the Cirque Éloize show and today I am baking an almond and pear tart. My birthday resolution for the new year is to break out of my comfort zone, try new activities and socialise more.

 

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Almond and pear tart
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Birthday morning

 

My achievements in week 93

  • Submitted my paper abstract to a conference.
  • Submitted a piece of coursework for the teaching programme.
  • Started reading a key book closely. I had read the book on my Kindle but wanted to buy a physical copy.
  • Got a new work desk in the office on campus. I am going to work on campus a couple of days a week from now on.
  • Had a lovely time with Luca for my birthday!

Goals for week 94

  • Work on my chapters.
  • Work on my conference paper.

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A PhD student researching verbal communication in Patient-Centred Care.