Start With Your Calendar

Let’s say you have a month before your viva. You know you need to do something to get ready, but there’s lots packed into that something (reading, making notes, talking and so on). You have a life too, maybe a job and other responsibilities. Lots to juggle before you start preparing for your viva as well.

So start with your calendar:

  • Sketch the month on paper, every day between now and the viva.
  • Cross out every day when you know, realisitically, you can’t get anything done – where you couldn’t sit down for at least thirty minutes.
  • Cross out any day where you feel you just won’t want to do prep; it’s not wrong to take time off and better to be honest about it!
  • Mark down days where you have other big commitments. Maybe you could still fit in an hour’s reading or thirty minutes of thinking and making notes, but you know you have to schedule it.
  • Pay attention to any days that look “free” – days where you could comfortably schedule productive viva preparation work.
  • Look to the closest date with a bit of freedom. That’s your start date. What will you do there? What would start you off well?

Start with your calendar to be honest about how much time you have. Compare it to your list of something to get a handle on all the things you will do to get ready.