Actions & Outcomes

I am asked (a lot): “What do I need to do to be ready for my viva?”

There are of course general, good ideas about viva prep. Following simple task actions like “read your thesis” and “have a mock viva” can be useful because it creates the right sort of outcome – you have a better recall of your research, or you have more practice at responding to questions.

But if you need to go deeper, for your own circumstances, don’t start with a list of things to do – make instead a list of things you want. Maybe…

  • …I want to have marked out key sections, to make them easier to find.
  • …I want to feel better about explaining my methods section.
  • …I want to understand more of my examiners’ work.

If you have a list of outcomes, you can match actions to them, rather than get stuck into work straight away and only half-feel like you’re getting there.

(More broadly, every action you take is leading you to an outcome. Are your current actions actually leading you to the outcome you think you want?)