More PhD Survival Tips

This week, I found another blog on survival tips for doctoral students. Dr. Patti Mason and I understand the need to find new ways to learn and let go of old habits. We struggled with managing time while juggling work and family obligations. Here’s another look at other ideas to help you survive your doctoral journey. I like some of these suggestions – they dovetail nicely with our tips for a successful academic journey.

Set Your Priorities

If you don’t have clear priorities, it’s easy to stumble along wasting and losing time. Set clear goals and timelines. Focus on your tasks and avoid undue delays. Understand your work load and find ways to complete your coursework.

Learn to Say “No”

This is a hard habit to break when you have family and friends who want your time. Best to plan your time to include work and play. But say “No” and stop doing tasks that prevent you from writing your dissertation. Keep your priorities on the radar.

Keep a Full-Time Job

Yes, it’s a struggle to balance work, family and school. Put in a good day’s work, but also make time each day for your school work. Balance is not easy – but it’s doable if you continue to work on your dissertation each day.


There will be MANY days when you don’t feel like thinking about your dissertation or writing. It’s times like these that you need to think about your purpose. Remember to write when you don’t feel like writing to avoid paying tuition longer than you need to.

It Is All About You

Now is the time to be selfish and keep your promise to yourself. Avoid more activities that will interfere with your writing. It is all about you – you are the only who will do the hard work to earn your doctorate.

Exercise and Be Happy

I’ve said it before, that exercise will increase your overall energy level. You’ll need it through every step of your dissertation journey.  Also make time for family and friends. Reward yourself for every milestone you reach – be happy and be well.

Ask for Help

If you are like most adult learners, you think you can go it alone. Working alone is a bad strategy for academic success. Reach out and create a support network and ask for help. Let go of your bad habit of thinking you can do it alone – you can’t!!

Source: Ten Habits of Successful Doctoral Students

Cheers and much success!

Dr. Bessie

Success is largely a matter of holding on after others have let go.
~~~ Unknown ~~~


Author: Dr. Bessie DiDomenica

Food Policy Researcher • Resilient Agriculture Advocate • Public Speaker • Public Policy Wonk • Writer • Teacher • Social Entrepreneur • Associate Editor

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