Life of a PhD Student – Luxury Problems

In my job I get to decide when and where I work as long as I get things done. When and where I work: I try to go for 8 hours a day at the office like a good girl. The things I need to get done: write a thesis by the end of 2018. I don’t know how it is for you, but I always achieve better with close deadlines. Bit of stress here and there can actually help.

So, this “as long as I get things done” is open for interpretation. And it’s mostly me and my boss who have to interpret. Like today, the sun is out. I don’t feel like working, have no motivation or concentration, and the coffee machine at the office is broken (!Disaster!). I am so tempted to go home and do some gardening. And maybe claim that I’ll work more in the evening then. But, can I tell this to my boss? “‘Sup Mr Bossman. I’m heading home to plant some veggies. Have a good one?”

Or do I just sneak out of the office and hope he doesn’t notice? Or at least hope he won’t wonder why I am leaving this time? Wonder if I am actually working at all?

I think it’s fairly obvious to everyone that I don’t work nearly as hard as the average PhD student. I do everything I can to avoid working weekends and evenings. I still haven’t done any conferences or written any articles. I gladly take a self proclaimed holiday when “working from home”. But so far no one has mentioned anything and I am getting away with it. I gave a presentation for our research group the other week and got loads of complements. How I already got really far in this new subject, how it’s very interesting, how I seem to have a good insight both in the literature as for the facts. So, maybe I’m not doing as bad as I think I am? Wouldn’t it be nice to think I’m just so intelligent I can get the thinking done in half the hours?

Nope, that doesn’t sound like me at all. What does sound like me, is spending a whole day at work wondering about whether or not to go home early.



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