Dealing with Monotony in your PhD

Repetition after repetition after repetition.

Although studying for a PhD involves investigating a subject you love, it can become incredibly monotonous. Repeating experiments, trawling through endless data sets… My PhD is research based and I have spent an interesting but challenging amount of time setting up new experiments. Now I am at the stage where I am repeating experiments to confirm results. The same experiments, over and over. And over. So how to deal with the monotony and keep it interesting (without avoiding the work you have to do)? These tips could help with any monotonous jobs.. including when it comes to writing the dreaded thesis!

Keep it fun, make sure you plan time in your day for a lunch break with colleagues or friends, it will give you a break from work and give you a time to moan about the work…if you need to.

You could tidy up your workspace and put up pictures of friends, family, places you love or want to visit to remind you that there is life outside your PhD.

Take regular breaks and listen to music if it is appropriate.

See if you can introduce a new task each week to add a bit of excitement to your working day. If that is not possible, you could organise activities for the evening as something to look forward to!


About Heather Doran

I am a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen. My PhD is Molecular Biology and Pharmacology based. I studied Molecular Biology and Biochemistry with a year in Industry at Durham University. I then went on to work in research and development in the consumer goods industry for 12 months. I decided for my long term career and for my own personal interests I wanted to pursue a PhD – so I went for it and I am enjoying (nearly) every minute! I am really passionate about science communication and I get involved in lots of different activities that are available through the University and through being a PhD student. I hope my blog will be useful for people who are thinking of doing a PhD in any subject and also for those that are studying for their PhDs at the moment.

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