Some workplaces and research cultures explicitly or implicitly run so that every conversation is actually a battle for airtime, and it’s common to try to sabotage other people’s chances. We should be working towards the exact opposite: energising, authentic, worthwhile, academic conversations. That’s what we love about getting together with our nerd pals.
All of this works because we start doing the work. By not delaying the real work through endless reading and procrastination, we start working towards our end goal, in ways that actually contribute to our goals. That is, we start making words on the page that can be added to and refined until you have enough good enough words to submit a passable PhD thesis.
You might worry that examiners and reviewers will outright reject your work if you don’t accept every single piece of feedback, but I can tell you from experience, that is not true. I first had to learn how to reject feedback for my PhD examination, and have used the same skills to deal with journal articles, monographs and how-to books. It’s not IF you accept the feedback, it’s HOW you reject it that will matter in deciding whether the final piece is acceptable.
I cannot believe, after all my to-do list and planning your time blog posts, I’ve never actually talked about how to break down a big project, set goals and then plan to meet them: an essential aspect of doing a PhD thesis… Partly because when we teach this in a workshop we know there is so much diversity in the ways that different people achieve the same outcome