An unexpected outcome of thesis writing

A strange and unexpected side effect of thesis writing is the increase in my lab efficiency. This isn’t because I’m procrastinating and doing lots of lab work to avoid writing, it’s because I don’t feel compelled to stay in the lab all day. If I need to go to the lab I go, I do what needs to be done, and I leave. It’s a seriously liberating feeling.

 Some days I’m in the lab all day, others I just pop in. Wherever I can I go in the evening. This has two big advantages, as there are less people around to 1. be distracting and 2. be using equipment I might need. Ditching the “normal” working day mentality is freeing and efficient.

Unfortunately this free and efficient new me has found a big obstacle. Last week the boss was away, this week he’s back. While he’s away it’s much more difficult for him to add lab work to my to do list, which allows me to focus on writing. This week he’s given me a lot more lab work to do. It’s difficult and stressful. I want, actually I need, to sit down and focus on writing but he isn’t making it easy. I am fully aware that as I write my thesis I will find gaps that need to be filled, but the work he’s asking for isn’t gap filling it’s new ideas. I anticipated this happening, we have different working styles, but it doesn’t mean I know how to handle it. The boss likes to have several things on the go at once, no single task can hold his attention for a particularly long period of time. I’m different. I hate flitting from job to job and feeling as though I’m not able to fully accomplish anything.

My personal feeling is, in an interruption free world, I’m more productive working in the office than I am at home (despite the perks). Leaving the house changes my mindset. Unfortunately it seems I might need to physically take myself away from the office to make it clear I’m sitting down and focusing on writing. I’d ideally like to get my results chapters completed by Christmas but at the current rate of interruptions that’s not likely to happen.

Luckily Mr DailyPhD has managed to source me a computer monitor on loan so I can put together a more comfortable and permanent working space in my spare room (rather than my current laptop/sofa set up). I’m hoping this will help achieve the same mindset that leaving the house gives me. Tomorrow I’ll set it up and report back soon on how it’s going, but until then everyone, thanks for reading.

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