Monday, 27 February 2012

Hitting the Wall

I think I've hit the metaphorical wall.

I keep questioning it, thinking this is surely far to early in my PhD career to be experiencing such things, but they're there nonetheless. And to clarify, I'm not freaking out, I'm not upset, worried or anxious, I'm not angry or stressed. I'm just... tired.

I know I still love my research. I'm still glad to be doing a PhD - research is still what I want to do for the rest of my life! I just seem to be unwillingly experiencing some apathy right now. (Though, I wonder if by definition, if it's unwilling can it really be apathy?)

There are lots of possible explanations for it I suppose. And, like when you hit that wall whilst doing a marathon, you just have to keep going, that's what I'm going to do. Just keep going. Of course - what else would I do?

It is uncomfortable though. I don't like feeling this way about my research. The struggle and inward battle to get out of bed in the morning, to get the extra reading done, to finish that damn coding. Yes, I am a high achiever and do expect a lot from myself, but with simple goals like "get out of bed and go to uni" and "do two hours of coding today" I don't feel I'm being unrealistic.

Anyone else out there experience this? How did you get through it?


  1. Perhaps you can try the " 3 tiny habits" to get yourself into habit of coding or writing every day. This may help you sail through in the tired period.

    How I know? I was tired too (and still tired) :p but at least I feel better seing some progress. At least it makes me only "tired" and not "i am in sh*t" and I am tired

  2. Good idea Avijit, thank you :)

    Hope your PhD continues to go well!

  3. Early in mine it was because i had an inkling there was stuff in the study that worried me. So i wrote it out ... therapeutically....but it became the opening of my qualitative thesis.

    Now when i cant bring myself to ignore email the internet etc...i go to starbucks (in NZ internet is not free at starbucks) where i do a 2 hour thesis writing stint, uninterrupted.

    When my brain is too overworked to think, or am feeling under the weather, there are other thesis jobs that can be done, like cleaning up my endnote references.

    I stick around people, virtually, who are doing it, i hangout on #phdchat or i read some of thethesiswhisperer blog. Seems to touch me with a bit of inspiration. And i try to progress it with something every single day.

    Best wishes, ailsa.