What do you need to balance?
Getting your PhD done
Put out feelers for side hustle projects
Great for time-management skills, expanding your knowledge and developing collaborations
But don't let it takeover your own work
Travel as much as you can.
Do whatever you can to travel.
Don’t stay in only one research network (i.e. US or Europe). There are multiple research networks.
Meet as many people in your field as possible.
Talk to students and academics at conferences
Engage in lab visits – it is a great way to meet others in your field and see how other labs operate.
Sometimes that dream lab that you wanted to do a postdoc in is actually just a factory that serves the PI. That might be want you want or you might want something else. Either way, it is good to know this before you apply for that postdoc.
Get out into fresh air occasionally
Regular physical activity is a great way to
- Clear your mind
- Give you a sense of achievement in some other domain when academic work is being difficult
- Get rid of that bad posture from sitting at a computer 16 hours day
Look after yourself. Rest (sometimes).
Eat vegetables (potatoes don't count).
This can be hardest when you are the busiest and most stressed. So prepared frozen meals are a way to help
Learn good wine and food.
And make friends with people who you can share the good wine and food.
More wine. Also whiskey.
Two glasses of wine + a whine with your academic friends is one of the most important things for your wellbeing.
A brief guide to wine*
Northern Italy, Australia
France, Australia, US
If this is the most marvellous thing you ave ever read and would like to say thank-you with a bottle of wine, I would greatly appreciate this, especially Barossa Valley Shiraz or if you have $, Yarra Yering
The PhD is marathon, not a sprint.
So take breaks.
Don’t miss other important things so you can “just get this done”.
It is likely it won’t be done in the next three days
Even if it is done, you will probably have to redo it anyway.