Top 10 Time Management Tips for PhD Candidates

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A PhD requires serious efforts to work on a complex research project and innumerable other academic activities. However, you can avoid all tensions if you manage your time well and complete tasks before deadlines. Here are some effective tips to work in a timely manner.

1. Plan your time: As soon as your proposal is approved, start planning for your project with an outline. Write down manageable task goals to guide you through the project. Set comfortable timelines to achieve each goal and follow them religiously.

2. Prioritize tasks: When you prepare your To-Do lists, set your tasks according to their degree of importance and urgency. Finishing urgent tasks sooner can give you more time later and relieve you of last-minute stress.

3. Set spare time: Keep two-three months spare before your dissertation submission deadline so you may complete any unforeseen activities or incomplete goals during that time.

4. Use smartphone apps: Make use of smartphone/Web apps to help you design mind maps and To-Do lists to work smartly. Make use of technology to save a lot of your time in planning and implementation.

5. Know yourself: Check your working style and accordingly strategize to work faster. For example, work in the mornings if you are more efficient at that time or wear headphones if you can work effectively while listening to music.

6. Pair tasks: Perform possible pairing of tasks. For example, while reviewing literature, you may also note down important references in an organized manner. This can save time while developing bibliography.

7. Track progress: Analyze your progress on goals regularly. This helps you check whether you should alter your work strategies or raise your productivity. Right strategies always help you to move on timely.

8. Be flexible: Research can anytime demand you to change plans. Thus, remain flexible to play around with your To-Do lists or work styles. To get you more time, reschedule things and postpone low-priority tasks.

9. Stay refreshed: Constant work can hamper performance and waste more time. Thus, keep scheduled time for fun activities with friends and family so you may remain cool and relaxed.

10. Avoid procrastination: Do not wait until last minute to work on goals or you will miss them. Start working without delay or laziness and you will also be able to generate buffer time.

Written By



Brandon has been working with PhD and Master’s candidates for their thesis and dissertation since 2007. He is a sports enthusiast and has completed his PhD in 2009. He works closely with students and candidates for consulting on academic documents.

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