Packing and unpacking

I’ve started about 4 different blog posts over the last few weeks, which are currently sat in my ‘drafts’ box – a few bitty bullet points and notes to my future self. I have the best intentions of keeping this blog going and I’ve really enjoyed the responses I’ve received to posts so far, it feels like a great way to connect with other PhD types – finding that we actually have shared experiences even if the set up is different.

The reason I’ve not been able to post properly is that things have been nuts. In the last few months I’ve been back and forth between Edinburgh and Glasgow, I’ve done a research trip to Gretna, I went on holiday for a week in Devon (we drove, with the puppy, it took a LONG time), and I’ve been on a research trip / attended a friend’s wedding in London. I now have 5 days before I go away again – I’m going back to Devon for two museum visits and then speaking at a conference at the University of Portsmouth. I feel like I am always packing or unpacking. Then there is my actual PhD work, and the event I’m organising at the museum next month. And there is a reason I’m listing all these things here.

Before I went on holiday I made an academic-new-years-resolution to say no to things, and now I realise why. Sometimes I think planning things way in advance means that my future self will be better able to deal with them. My future self is not.

The true meaning of time management

At the start of my PhD – exactly a year ago this week – I was really worried about the huge void of time opening up ahead of me, with no idea how I would fill it. I slowly got projects on the go and I am so thrilled with how some of these have turned out, particularly my work at the Museum of Edinburgh which has proved to be such a great experience both work-wise and because I love it. I have always thought I was someone who was good at time management because I always meet deadlines and I am nearly never late – but I’m learning that time management also means not running yourself into the ground. (I know exactly why I’ve been working in bed all day with my second cold of the month.)

So once my Devon/Portsmouth trip is over – which I am really looking forward to – I am going to take some quiet PhD time. I’m going to have some ‘normal’ weeks where I stay local, settle down for an afternoon at the library and keep things calm. I’m going to keep my weekends free and be stricter about my work days. This may not happen, but if I’ve committed it to writing at least I have to give it a try!

See you on the other side.

No more packing after next week please.

No more packing after next week please.


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