Let’s procrastinate…

Just for fun…I thought I’d shared this.

Best wishes everyone…10+ Hilarious Posts About Procrastination You Probably Shouldn’t Be Reading Right Now




Dealing with difficult supervisors

So,  what happens when the supervisor starts throwing spanners into your work.  They have free reign and make decisions without consulting you and you wouldn’t know better anyway to say no…

It can be frustrating, but I found a solution.

  1. Just bear with it, if they mean well and you can live with it and overall you will get your PhD done, then just pick your battles.
  2. Focus on outcomes – rather than emotion.  What solution do you need?  Do you need encouragement from them?  Can you organise your project better to give them more regular updates to prevent them from micromanaging and annoying you?  Tell them what solution you need rather than get irritated and not having control over your own research (you’re still learning after all).

I found this article funny and helpful, hope it helps you too…


Difficult PhD supervisor angry


Supervisors are human too

I learnt 3 important things in the past few weeks:

Image result for control

  1. I am in control.  I used to let things and people stress me.  But I’m the one flying my plane and my life.

I was super busy with work and study, then had a conference.  For once, I left my laptop at home and attended the conference and ENJOYED it.  Before, I would worry about work, worry about study, worry about my supervisor getting mad at me for having “time off”…it did wonders for my mental health, happiness and industry knowledge to be present at the conference and really enjoy each moment.  I made the exhibitors laugh and got lots of goodies e.g. a brain shaped stress ball, yoyos, a baseball even…(that an exhibitor said I could throw in a certain direction and wipe out their competitor at the conference).  We all need a break and so do our minds, especially when doing a PhD.  It refreshes our creativity and gives us fresh air.  I am allowed to have fun and be kind to myself.

The biggest thing I’ve been doing lately during my morning 10 minute meditations is to visualise success and feel it.  10 minutes of visualising success, achieving my goals and feeling it in my body is super powerful.

I read a study somewhere about 2  basketball teams.  One actually practiced on the court and the other team visualised their game (without physical practice).  Amazingly, the second team that visualised played and scored higher than the other team.  The mind is a wonderful thing.  You are in control, no one else can stress you if you don’t let them and you can achieve everything you want to.

2. Priorities:  Who will be there after your PhD?  Who will celebrate with you?  Who will love you even if you don’t get a PhD?  When in doubt, and the Phd becomes your focus…I have learnt having clear priorities and sticking to them means I will never regret my decisions in life.

Related imageI have regretted spending too much time at work.

Stressing too much over study.

Stressing about what others think of me.

But I have NEVER regretting spending time with my loved ones.

I had to make a choice this week, look after a sick loved one and have lunch with family or say I’m too busy and try and catch up with the huge amount of study and work.  Study and work will always be there.  I am so glad I chose family…and I’m still getting time to catch up with my work.  Good for the soul and good for the brain.

3. Supervisors are human.

Image result for robotSupervisors, bosses, teachers, mentors, parents…sometimes we forget they are humans and not robots.  They too get stressed and have bad days and emotions.  If they got stressed, I would stress.  I am starting to manage my supervisors now…communicating with them early on if I expect issues or about my schedule.  They also learn that you’re growing up this way, when they can see you manage yourself and communicate to them your needs.  This means they stress less and I stress less.

I was actually thinking that to be a good supervisor, you have to be as calm as a driving instructor…but that is so unrealistic.  Has anyone noticed that there are a large portion of academics who are quite eccentric and lack people and organizational skills because that part of their brain is focused on their research?  (Including me)…lesson learnt, as Prof Jimmy Choo says “just be nice”  that’s all you need to do.

Be nice to your supervisors and understand that they’re human, be nice to yourself because you are human too, be nice when you become a supervisor one day…


You can do anything – it’s up to you.

Wanted to share the post below from www.thedailypositive.com

Especially for us perfectionists and those battling to produce research that is “successful”…

You Can Do Hard Things

“I recently heard a participant at a leadership conference say, ‘If you are successful all of the time, you are really failing.’ I believe she meant we are failing because we aren’t taking risks. Risks are scary because there’s a possibility we won’t succeed. And who doesn’t want to be successful? We put protection around ourselves to keep us from that kind of hurt and vulnerability. But developing a spirit of courage doesn’t happen without failure.”

Compared to someone, you are successful, or you aren’t.  It’s up to you to decide who decides this.  Happy weekend everyone 🙂

Tired. Just Tired.

Image result for hammered tired It could be that my quality of sleep is suffering thanks to my neighbour’s dog who won’t stop barking…(I have no idea how their owners sleep).

Or that it’s mid-year-itis where everyone needs a holiday…

But I’m super tired of having draft after draft, changed after changed…sooo tired…would be nice if we were all just perfect but…that’s the beauty of research right??…

How to eat an elephant…one bite at a time.

Image result for eat an elephant

Hello again old friend

Image result for happy newsHappy news, sorry for not saying hello in awhile.

Confirmation of candidature

So…I got my confirmation of candidature (you might have something different but for me it’s within the first year of your PhD and you present your study to a panel and they approve it as a project and to continue or change or crash).

Lessons learnt here was that these presentations are academic in natures (so no flamboyant TED talks).

  • Put alot of references into the presentation.
  • Spend more time on your methodology and significance of the study and less on your background.

Ethics approval

And I got ethics approval for my study.

Lessons learnt about ethics approval (depending on your topic):

  • Ethics approval for non-invasive, non-clinical/medical studies are simpler.  My study involves providing a training session, surveys and observations.  (So no blood required from any participants).
  • There is something called “dependent / unequal relationship” when you are in a position of authority over the participant like a teacher/student.  Where the participant (student) may feel that they should behave in a certain way or do certain things because you, as a teacher want them to.  You can address this risk by ensuring you provide a clear information sheet and consent form to each participant which specifies that they will not get into trouble or need to do anything in particular if they do or withdraw form the course.

This website has a simple overview on ethics relevant to Australian research studies: http://www.menzies.edu.au/page/Research/Ethics_approval/

And the research proposal is in – needed that to get the ethics approval 🙂

So now it’s onto the research and publications…I’m slightly tired coming down from the highs of completing those milestones above and scared as there’s just so much to do.

best wishes 🙂 until next time….

Rest Breath & Live

I remember a PhD graduate saying “don’t forget to live while you do your PhD”.


Slide 9 of 50: <p>A man gives his shoes to a homeless woman in Rio de Janerio.</p>After a hugely stressful 2 weeks…while waiting for feedback for my final research proposal draft…

I took a weekend off.

Didn’t look at my PhD AT ALL 🙂

And last night, put myself to bed early.

I’m back at work today, but this gave me inspiration to remember the big picture – life is for living.  I hope to make a difference one day with my research, for the mean time, maybe I can make a difference anyway…hope this gives you as much as it did for me:

50 Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

there is light at the end of the tunnel

unless it’s a train coming…as my friend once said…

Image result for celebrate

I am pre-empting a positive outcome…as I see light at the end of the tunnel.

In the meantime, lesson of the moment is: Weird ideas can really stuff me up!!

For some reason I had it in my head that I needed to finish my research proposal before I did my confirmation of candidature.  The confirmation happens in some universities, maybe not yours.  And although it would be highly beneficial to have the research proposal and ethics approval ready by your confirmation, if you have the proposal ready at least, and the submission for ethics approval pending…you can possibly still have your confirmation.

The main thing is to make sure you have a good quality proposal and ethics application as this will help with the confirmation and ethics approval.

So…until next time, when I hopefully have good news to share about my confirmation….onwards and upwards with draft 56 of my research proposal.  (Just kidding…probably draft 8 which isn’t toooo bad).

Research Proposal – the biggest speedbump

challenge comfort.jpg

Why am I still at the research proposal stage?  Draft #3million…

Not sure about you but in my case I had an initial research plan.  This was a few naive paragraphs about how I was going to take over the world.

Then the research proposal was massive document in contrast…that is supposed to be my actual blueprint for my mastermind.

That’s why I’m still here…

However..I noticed my supervisors were rather calm about me still not having a final version ready to go.  Until one of them said this was one of the biggest hurdles in the PhD journey.  The concept phase to actual blueprint is never easy.

It’s like a kid having an amazing idea to climb a tree, then actually figuring out how to climb the tree without falling out and breaking a leg is another thing altogether.

So – worry not if the research proposal takes ages and your grand plan of attack also morphs into several versions of the one alien.  Just keep your eyes on the mothership.

Research Proposal Structure – https://www.monash.edu/education/current-students/academic-language-literacy-numeracy-support/proposal-writing

Research Question (this was what got me the most and also changed heaps between  my research plan and research proposal): http://www.theresearchassistant.com/tutorial/2-1.asp

P.S those of you who have been following my blog know I attempted to change my supervisory team a little while back. I am happy to report that it worked out well and my boss supervisor is getting along just fine with the new addition to my supervisory team.  If you know someone’s going to be of value to bring along with you on your PhD journey – always remember it’s your life and you should totally go for it (albeit in a really nice, polite way coz you’re probably going to bump into some of these academics if you pursue a career in this field)…




It’s a journey…


Read this today and it gave me encouragement to keep going with my research proposal…will visit this again when I’m writing my thesis 🙂 hahaha…

Scenario:  Preparing to do a high ropes obstacle course (where you’re doing an obstacle course in up in the trees with ropes supporting you to catch you if you fall)…

“This isn’t about finishing the course. This is about conquering your hesitancy, resistance and fear. These ropes holding you will only let you slightly drop if you miss the bar. Then they will catch, and you absolutely will not fall” 

Source: LYSA TERKEURST – “I have trust issues”