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Emma Partlow

Christine Miserandino’s ‘spoon theory’ is a concept usually applied to chronic health conditions. It relies on the concept of spoons as energy units to demonstrate how a person may have a limited amount of energy with which to complete daily tasks. The chapter shows how spoon theory can also apply to doctoral students, as everyone has a set of spoons that may deplete more or less on certain days dependent upon their ‘outside life’. It aims to provide some practical pointers interspersed with the author’s personal accounts of how she has managed to stay on track so far on her doctoral journey. Moving through topics such as imposter syndrome, the need for every student to find their own routine, and the importance of well-being and a circle of support, it concludes with a number of useful lessons for PhD students.