At the end of my first year of the PhD process there is one aspect that is worryingly real on a daily basis and that is time (and my complete inability to plan it effectively). One moment there are weeks stretching ahead of me in which many tasks may be achieved, and then it is as though I have blinked and months have passed. Some of the books I intended to read are still piled by the desk, targets still glare at me from the to do list pinned to the wall and deadlines are worrying close at hand.

In her most recent blogpost Pat Thomson talks of the time restraints imposed on PhD students (http://patthomson.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/some-musings-on-the-time-limited-phd/) and I find myself trying to develop a six month plan that realistically allows me to complete readings, conference presentations, draft chapters etc. The only issue is that so far I have tended to overestimate my own abilities. It would be wonderful if the progress I make in my daydreams matched the realities of day to day life.

So as I prepare for a seven week field trip to Kenya to carry out my first data collection, I am also test running the plan and hoping that I can fully understand my own capabilities and of course limitations. What will conspire against me is the heat, time I would rather spend socialising with colleagues and of course the way that few events ever seem to happen on time…

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