Entire week and especially today
has not been the best and I do really try to remain positive in certain situations even though it is extremely hard. However, I thought I still wanted to share how to stay motivated in science, even though it is not very related to our hair.
It is my last year of PhD and I have to admit it has been a proper love and hate relationship. I had some days when I would be so keen to go to the lab, do experiments and run around with a huge smile on my face. I had days when I would lie in bed thinking how much I don’t want to get up and do what I have to do or I would look at my computer screen wishing I could switch everything off and run away, preferably to exotic country.
Because it is my last year I am really trying to take most of it, even if that means long hours and countless experiments until I am completely happy with the results. However, motivation in science is a must, without that it is impossible to survive and not only in science, in any job.
I thought I will share a few tips that helps me to stay motivated and helps me to get back on track and don’t feel like I want to run away, again preferably to exotic country.
Go to seminars/meetings/conferences – honestly, it is the best therapy ever! I attended a few big conferences in the last couple of years and it is the best remedy you can give to yourself when you feel like you really don’t like your PhD or job. Listening to famous speakers, networking with others, understanding what people sharing, gives those nice butterflies inside.
Try to Miss your work – I mean take a few days off, do something completely different to get that “I miss lab” or “I miss my work desk” feeling. Sometimes completely switching off, going away can do so much good for your head and your motivation.
Look at what you achieved – as majority PhD students I had that feeling when I felt I done absolutely nothing in the last couple of years and have no data. That’s not true. The best thing to do is to make a nice power point presentation for yourself of all your results , even if that takes a bit of time, you will be happy after you did that (thesis writing!). If you not a scientist, still try to do something similar, you can visually reflect all your achievements.
Use social media– These days it is difficult to find someone who doesn’t use social media, I am certainly pretty addicted to it and that can be toxic. However, social media is a great tool to connect with people that have similar minds or do similar things. Due to my Instagram account (follow me here) I met so many wonderful women scientists that really inspire me and certainly brightens up my day!
Clean your desk – this is my favourite procrastinating activity and also helps me to sort myself out. Sometimes I sit down and I see tons of papers, USB sticks, sticky notes and I just want to leave. Instead, I grab cleaning wipes , sort out all the papers and write down my priorities.
Have consistency – my biggest advice is to have some consistency every week. For me it is 6am gym session 4-5 times a week. I really enjoy good workout with weights and I always try to do that before going to the lab, it sets my mind into the right place and even if I have very bad day I know I did at least something good for my body. Do something you enjoy couple times a week – gym, reading cooking ? Anything that gives you a bit up that Good feeling.
PhD is not easy , but it is not only about generating data or writing thousands of smart words it also gives you a chance to learn more about yourself and grow as a person.
What are your top tips how to stay motivated in PhD or other job? Please share!
Have a wonderful week xx
I am Laura, 26 Lithuanian living in Manchester. I spend my days in the lab working on hair follicles and in the evening I share my love about hair cosmetics and how to have beautiful hair!