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Thesis and private life
t’s difficult to refuse to help a friend to move house or cut short an impromptu visit from your grandparents on the pretext that this is precisely the day you planned to work on your thesis.
Friends and family often find it hard to imagine the constraints of the doctorate and doctoral students must learn to defend time periods set aside for the thesis as a working period that must not be encroached upon by other activities.
Doctoral students must ensure that they’re not landed with all the family obligations and/or household chores by their spouse, family members or flatmate under the pretext that they « have the time » or « can organise their time as they like ».
Due to the traditional division of labour between couples and more generally within families, but also the social representations regarding this division, it’s often more difficult for women than men to safeguard thesis time in the face of conflicting demands.
While the time you devote to your doctoral studies must be strenuously protected, it is on the other hand very important not to let the thesis completely take over your life.
Giving up certain things (leisure, holidays, going out, reading) is a trap that any doctoral student may fall into, particularly during the most stressful phases of the thesis. It is however better to give yourself time to recharge your batteries not only for your health, but also to avoid getting too bogged down in the thesis or getting to the stage where you suffer from burnout.