The learning phase

I started my RHD journey with noble ideas about efficiency, resources and knowledge. I thought, this is simple. I’ll simply search the literature, write some things and submit my ethics approval! This will go swimmingly! In reality, it has been a month and I am realizing I was a little naive.

Firstly, I learnt that process that universities take their time, as every request has to pass through the bureaucracy. As a result this month has not been the most productive month.

Secondly, I have learnt some things about myself. The Pomodoro technique does not work for me. This has meant instead I make myself a rule, I read one article and then I can have a break. Only a short break, but it isn’t constrained by time limits, so I don’t feel disappointed to be half way through reading a news article when my ‘break’ timer finishes. I also like the method of working through a whole article before taking a break because I find that I tend to hyper focus on a task, and find it hard to get back into if I have to pause.

Thirdly, I have found that it is close to impossible for me to work electronically. I need to print articles or I just cannot retain the information I read. Printed, I can work through an article in less than an hour. Electronically, it can take me up to three hours. I am not sure why, but it just doesn’t work.

And lastly, I have found that on a topic I thought would be relatively small there is still quite a lot of research. I am finding that while there tends to be very little written after 2014, there is still a fair amount to work through. I am finding that what I have read is just a drop in a very wide pool. Definitely not something I expected when I started!

Is there anything you have found to be surprising about your journey? Comment below!

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