A Stone In Your Shoe

A little piece of grit just nudged your toe.

It’s a tiny pain, an annoyance, nothing serious but now you’ve felt it you can’t stop thinking about it. You have a choice:

  • Ignore it, just keep going. It’s a little thing and you can bear the discomfort.
  • Wiggle your toes. Push it to one side and wait ’til you’re done.
  • Take off your shoe. Bang the heel, see the stone fall to the back and pick it out.

Simply: you can ignore a little annoyance, spend the minimum effort to push it away or stop everything to resolve it. All three strategies have merit. All three can be applied to the end of your PhD, your viva prep and even in the viva.

  • Find a small mistake? Ignore it, make a note and fix it later, or drop what you’re doing and correct it.
  • Missing a reference? Ignore it, pencil it in your diary to sort out or go straight to your literature review and figure it out.
  • Critical comment in the viva? Ignore it, make a note and think about it, or ask your examiner for more so you can respond now.

There are pros and cons to all the approaches you can take when annoying little situations show up.

You have a choice about which one you pick.