I realised the other day that I often advise people to take their time when it comes to the viva.

Plan how you’re going to prepare.

Invest time in reading your thesis carefully.

Don’t rush to an answer in the viva.

It got me wondering, are there any areas of viva prep or thesis examination where it would be good to rush?

Well, there are things that you can do quickly, but they’re not so much about rushing as they are about doing specific tasks. Dash out some bullet points about a chapter when you start a summary file; spend two minutes to put a Post It at the start of each chapter in your thesis; write down the first five researchers you can think of whose work you build on.

You can do these quickly and then develop them: write a summary, add Post Its to other important areas, expand your researcher list. You’re not rushing, you’re starting.

I can’t think of a good reason to rush in preparation or in the viva…

…but maybe after the viva you want to hurry to tell someone your good news?