Like many others, today is my first day back to study after holidays and like many I was not feeling that excited about (ok, kinda dreading) it. I’m easing my way in – working from home in my pyjamas – though the gardener’s leaf blower has just started outside ending any remnant of holiday tranquility!
I had considered working on my phd right through Christmas – well apart from, say Christmas and Boxing Days, however ended up taking half of Christmas Eve off until today. And I’m glad I did. Yes, there were moments when my thoughts flicked briefly to it, but overall I think I needed to have some dedicated time away from it. I’ve always found it much easier to fully immerse in holiday at this time of year – with much of the population on holiday, taking time off feels very much socially acceptable.
I stayed at home, but I did things like clean the kitchen drawers, clear out my wardrobe and do some gardening. Oh I also managed to rewatch a good chunk of the most excellent Battlestar Galactica, went horse-riding, ate an impressive amount of stone fruit, read a trashy novel, listen to the cricket and rode my bike quite a lot. That said, I think the major benefit was just to relax-mentally and physically.
The reason I was dreading returning to study is the amount of work I have to do, particularly in the first few months of the year. And the fact I already feel woefully behind and worried I won’t be able to get through it all.
First up, I need to finish one paper (thankfully mostly done), while I have a large chunk of secondary data analysis to do and then write into a paper. At almost the same time I have 2 major studies to prepare, conduct and analyse. I’m trying to stay focused, break it down into small, daily tasks in order not to feel overwhelmed. Also reading Patter’s most recent blog was oddly comforting, perhaps in the knowledge that I am not alone in facing a mountain of work!
Wishing everyone a productive start to the year!