Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Programs Am I spending enough time working 9-5 on my PhD or will it require more?

  1. Sep 25, 2011 #1
    I'm doing a particle physics-based PhD at a british university and have returned a few weeks earlier than my official start date to get familiarised with what I'll be doing. I've been treating it as a 9-5 job, and doing little bits of reading etc. on nights and at the weekend.

    I've heard all sorts about PhD's being a gruelling battle but right now it seems very manageable, it's not stressing me out at all. Am I devoting enough time to this or can I expect to have to kick it up a gear at some point?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    You'll have ups and downs.

    One of my personal observations (in Canada) was that the people who tended to treat the PhD like a 9-5 job consistently, every day, tended to finish faster and with less stress than those who had more sporatic work schedules.

    Another personal observation is that people like to talk about the worst cases they experience. So you'll talk to a graduate student who says she puts in 16 hours a day, 7 days per week, and what she could mean is that she's finishing her thesis and the deadline is two weeks away and she doesn't want to pay for another semester because her funding has run out.

    There are of course, people who actually do put in insane hours on a regular basis some even to the point where personal hygene starts to suffer. And that's not good for anyone.
  4. Sep 25, 2011 #3


    User Avatar

    It's not only people trying to finish up who put in long hours. My topic often required working 16 hour days, 7 days a week, working at a lab or observatory for months at a time. When your instrument costs thousands of dollars an hour to run, you don't take any time off when it can be running. And if you're the one in charge of it, you don't get a break. And then you better get that data reduced fast or you're going to get scooped and it wouldn't have been worth the effort you just put in. My PhD took very long hours for many years; it was never a 9-5 job. Some days I took off just for mental health reasons, others I worked straight through. But I always found time to shower. :)
  5. Sep 25, 2011 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    This is garbage. As a physicist, you should know to state units! Please give your shower rate in showers per appropriate unit of time;)
  6. Sep 27, 2011 #5
    lol, this was me towards the sharp end of my masters year, when the **** really hit the fan. don't wanna go there again.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook