Why this blog?

I started this blog in May 2022, when I was 1.5 years into my PhD in experimental physics. So far, I did not do a lot of planning in my PhD, I mainly worked on projects whenever I felt so. In the short term this is nice of course, I’ll only be doing stuff that makes me happy. In the long term however, this doesn’t really work out.

I am currently at the point that I want to see this changed, because I realise in this way it’s hard to work towards a clear goal, i.e. my first academic paper, without getting distracted by other project that seem nicer. I have already followed a few courses on time management and read a few books on the topic, more on that later. While these all have nice information, techniques and tools, I feel they fall short in this niche area that I’m in: an experimental PhD project. While there’s books about project management for PhDs, these are often written by people from other disciplines, that have done their best to get into our worlds, but it will never be first-hand experience. While in other fields you might be able to plan your experiments very well, this does not work so well in the natural sciences. If your particles decide not to cooperate for a while, good luck going through with your project.

The goal

So that’s what I’ll be trying here; share my road towards a more (realistically) planned and organised PhD project, so others have some first-hand information on how to apply the knowledge of time and project management to their own projects. I think a lot of people can benefit from it, so that’s why I’ll be sharing. Of course, we’re all very different, so everybody should do what they think works best. But over the past years I found out that listening to other people’s ideas on certain topics can really help.