Whenever I start a big project I treat it as important – worth doing well – and not urgent – worth doing without time pressures that could compromise me, the work, or stress me out. I’ve seen similar sentiments in lots of planning and productivity literature and advice. It is a general attitude I would encourage when preparing for the viva. It’s important, and needs to be done well, but not something that should be stressful or adding to any burdens a candidate might already feel.
So make it not urgent, and plan for it.
- Some people can take a leisurely month to get ready, thirty minutes to an hour per day. Great, plan for it.
- Some candidates could be horribly stressed by work, family life or external conditions and only get a short period of time at the end of a busy working day. Which sounds rough, so they should plan for it.
- Some will take time off to prepare, and only have that one opportunity to get it done. So plan for it!
A plan for viva prep doesn’t need to be broken down hour by hour; a little thought goes a long way. When do you need to start? What flow of activity will you follow? What will enough prep look like for you?
Take a little time to treat your viva prep as important, by making it not urgent.