Patrick van Rijn

Productivity: outputs minus inputs; balancing your PhD checkbook

Doing a PhD is an exciting adventure but are we fully prepared for it and what does it entail? Research, education, management tasks, thinking about your future, maintaining deadlines, ensuring that your supervisor maintains the deadlines, finishing your thesis etc. etc. Without initially realizing this, many different things will approach you for which you will not be trained, you need to learn on the job and everything combined can become very stressful, sometimes even too stressful.

How do you cope? There are many aspects that you do not control; working with colleagues, one or more supervisors, conflicting priorities, project ownership, just to mention a few. But also a major aspect that is not considered often is the balance of work-private life. What can you do to make your time not only fruitful but preferably also joyful? How do you keep the many lights burning? No one knows the answer to all of these questions as it is very person dependent. What we can do is be aware of the problems.