Chapter 34: Managing time and maintaining focus
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Doctoral research requires intensive effort and is a journey often fraught with bouts of uncertainty and self-doubt. Additionally, time management is a common challenge. This chapter traces the author’s journey towards effective time management. It begins with a short discussion of his work–study–life balance, to set the scene. Next, it outlines a few reflections on time management and on the changes made by the author to overcome a heavy workload and to prioritise the things most important to him. Throughout the chapter, there are suggestions for effective time management, addressing failure to prioritise tasks, being afraid to say ‘No’ or ‘Not right now’ and experiencing a lack of focus. The chapter concludes with five lessons for keeping the doctorate on track, including setting goals, blocking out weekly time slots for study, and agreeing monthly deadlines and a monthly work plan with supervisors.

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