Even when a pandemic isn’t happening all around us, priorities change.
You focus on something and then… You have less time, less resources, less space, less energy, and you have to shift your focus. Or perhaps you suddenly have more of one thing: more responsibility, more to do, more to think about, and you have to change your priority.
If your viva is in the near future, it’s understandable to be concerned. Whatever approach you were going to take before might be in doubt. Timelines and outcomes may even seem uncertain.
The core tasks of preparation remain the same though, even if your immediate priorities might shift: you need to know about expectations, you need to read your thesis, you need to reflect on and reframe your work, you need to have some kind of meaningful rehearsal for responding to questions.
While these need to be done, they might seem a distant second (or third, or…) to everything else. That’s fine: be kind to yourself. Put your focus where you need to. When you can, take little steps to advance your preparation. It doesn’t have to be your focus.
A lot of small steps will get you where you need to be.