#1 Goal Is To Publish Good quality Articles
The measurement of good quality article is by their publication house or a well known Index. for example in computer science community good articles usually come from ACM, IEEE, Springer, Elsevier , Taylor and Francis publications and the index used is SCI Index.
#2 Goal Is To Stay Motivated
Since a PhD involves diving very deep into a topic, one might expect that learning very complicated stuff would be the hardest part. If you don’t learn fast enough and well enough, you will not finish your PhD. Right? Not true.
That period is called the Valley Of Shit or the Phase 3 of PhD Motivation, the “Crisis of Meaning” . Almost every graduate student goes through this existential crisis.
#3 Goal is to Complete the Plan on time
One, you realise a bit, just a bit, too late that this is not going to work. Seriously, do you really need 5 years to decide you won’t have enough results and papers to defend your thesis?
Two, after 4 years you are almost there, you have enough data to write those two last articles and the introduction of your thesis. It feels so close and obvious you are going to get your PhD title that you decide to start a postdoc or a new job.
Excellent Wrong choice, Sir!!!!
#4 Goal is to consider yourself the last authority to judge
One common source of frustration is to ask your PhD supervisors for help and realise they know as much as aunt Martha does. If these brilliant guys can’t answer your problems, how are you expected to answer them?
#5 Goal is not to try doing something BIG
Most of scientists make big contributions after a lifetime of research, not in a couple years.Then why do it a PhD in the first place? Well, you need to start somewhere and a PhD can give you the tools and skills necessary for achieving higher scientific goals.
#6 Goal is embark on the process of Reading, Writing, Networking
#7 Goal is Time mangement
If you haven’t read The 4 Hour Workweek yet, buy it, devour it and apply it to your PhD. It is stuffed with great ideas that you can turn into graduate school advice, it will revolutionise the way you see the world.
- You want to be effective, not just efficient: being efficient at something unimportant is useless. Being effective at finishing important things makes a big difference.7
- Pareto’s Law 80/20: focus your efforts in that 20% of tasks that bring 80% of the benefits (like writing papers). Remove the 80% of tasks that only contribute to 20% of the results (like revising constantly your time management system).
- Parkinson’s Law: set tight deadlines, the last minute rush will activate your creativity. If you decide you can do a task in 2 days, guess what? It will take your 2 days to accomplish it. If you would assign 3 hours to it, you would still finish it.4
- You are scared, so is everybody else: when talking to other people, giving presentations, applying for that position, it is scary, but everybody else would be scared.
- Have near-impossible goals: these are the goals that motivate you and that are worth working hard and walking the extra mile. When would you work harder? When you have to prepare a poster for a regional meeting or when you have to give a talk at an international conference in New York? I thought so.
#8 Goal is to Deliver Fast And Often, Get Feedback
Bear with me: done is better than perfect.
Don’t wait till you have the perfect figures or till you are not ashamed of the quality of your work. You need to make progress and you need the feedback of your supervisors to do so.
#9 Enjoy The Ride
Graduate school has many perks that make it a great experience. You will meet interesting people and you will have the chance to explore your own ideas and to be creative.
You have the chance to travel. Get results and present them in conferences. Ask your boss to pay for the trip or apply for a travelling stipend for students. Find collaborators and get them to invite you to visit their lab.
#10 Most important Goal is to Pimp Your Online Reputation And Grow Your Academic Footprint