Three months ago, I started my thesis and it’s been such a journey!
Here are some lessons that I’ve learnt so far!
It’s important to work, but it’s more important to write
I’m working in a EU project, in collaboration with Kemakta Konsult (an environmental consultancy) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Usually, when a thesis is in collaboration with a project or a company, there are many objectives and a lot of work involved. It is very natural and easy to get lost in the workload, and forget a main aspect of your thesis, which is writing your report. As important as it is to do the work, if you loose track of your work, references, notes, and all the important things that are needed for your report, it’s going to be very hard at the end.
It is hard to find a balance between thesis and other things in life
When you start your thesis, you begin with a positive mindset that it’s not going to be hard to balance thesis and everything else, but I quickly began to realise that it is very hard to implement. I easily end up spending 14 hours (minimum) on my thesis daily. This is sometimes nerve-wrecking and somedays I feel like the days just blend into each other, and I loose track of basic things like eating, meeting friends, etc.
Set deadlines for yourself
It is important to be disciplined. You have to set deadlines for yourself throughout your thesis. Set small deadlines, like weekly goals. It is important to plan, but it is more important to set a deadline to those plans. Make your weekly goals realistic and achievable. It is important to not overwhelm yourself, so you should set small goals to keep yourself going.
You need to reward yourself in small ways for reaching your deadlines, maybe take a walk, buy yourself some chocolates, it could be anything but it is important to keep yourself motivated and inspired along the journey.
Accept that it is going to be a bit hard after the first stretch
After the first few weeks, it does get hard to keep your motivation and not feel exhausted. But If you accept that it will get a bit hard after the initial weeks, it is easier to deal with the low and long stretches of work and writing.
Use apps and tools to help you stay organised and motivated
There are many tools that would help you stay organised. It is important to use some tools to help you stay on top of your thesis game. Elke’s tips for organising and restricting social media usage is something that can help you! You can also use the Pomodoro Technique that Andres wrote about to optimise productivity.
I’m gonna go back to working on my thesis now. *sigh* Let me know if you have any questions related to thesis !
/Your Swe-Desi Seafarer signing off 🙂