Games Worth Playing

There are PhD games that people play that are ultimately not fun or helpful. They’re founded in perfectionism and not knowing what’s expected. Playing them seems like a good idea sometimes, but is ultimately frustrating. Don’t play those games.

  • Don’t try to live up to an imagined ideal that doesn’t match the reality of what you need to do at the viva.
  • Don’t try to beat some stellar standard you perceive in other postgraduate researchers.
  • Don’t try to read everything, do everything or know everything – because you can’t.

These games aren’t worth playing. They won’t reward you or your progress.

The games that will help are personal games. You set a reasonable target and try to achieve it. You recognise the commitment you have and your growth (as a person and a researcher). You take action and move along the very, very long journey.

Play the games worth playing. Save your focus for what matters the most. Your success does not have to be defined by the achievements of others or false expectations.