phd student stress

6 Helpful Study Tips for the PhD Student

If you are a student pursuing your PhD, you have probably realized that it is no walk in the park. With so many deadlines that you need to beat, vast amounts of personal investment, and large scale projects, you are probably likely to undergo high levels of stress and anxiety. At this level of education, you are always on your own, and you need to do whatever it takes to attain success. Unfortunately, not many individuals have the mental capacity to go through three hard years of the program and many PhD students have been known to suffer from high levels of stress disorders owing to the enormous amounts of pressure that they are subjected to as they try and attain excellence.

As a student, you must find ways to beat these stress levels during the study. Many individuals take different approaches to overcome this daunting part of the study process, and some of the everyday activities include exercise, arts, mediation, counselling or consultation. In this article, we explore 6 essential study tips for the PhD student that can help them overcome a vast number of challenges.

The modern world has presented PhD students with some solutions to ensure that they attain success. The PhD needs a tremendous amount of dedication and commitment on the part of the student, and it is always crucial that you understand some of the things that you can do to ensure that you do not strain yourself physically and mentally.

In most cases, students think that they need to spend the whole day studying and reduce the amount of time that they allocate to other activities. As proven by experts, this is never the right approach, and you need to attain a good balance if you are going to perform well. Apart from getting help from a professional company, the following tips can help you in your studies as you pursue your PhD.

1. Dedicate a suitable amount of time to reading

When you conduct sufficient research and read plenty of books and papers, you can get a clear overview of your field of research. Reading is identified as one of the most important ways of acquiring information on a given area of study. It is also a means of thought development and a source of knowledge while keeping the mind active. As a PhD student, reading also helps you learn and attain a critical way of thinking because of the knowledge that you acquire. The benefits are limitless, and you must explore as many materials as possible since it will make life easier for you.

The major challenge at the PhD level is the ability to dedicate enough time to this vital activity. It is imperative to have a clear picture of all the research already done in your field, which also enables you to see where your PhD fits in. Reading also allows you to understand the various ways that you are going to contribute and expand a given area of research. In relation to plagiarism, reading expansively is an excellent way to avoid replicating existing content, meaning that everything that you think about researching on will be unique. Good PhD students also ensure to keep track of new developments through reading and consultation.

2. Dedicate some time to writing and do it often

Practice makes perfect! During your PhD, you will be needed to write a significant number of papers. DO not wait until you are required in order to write a paper for a class to sit down and write. Do it as often and as much as you can! Train your brain to think critically and construct useful papers most suitably. The principal aim of consistent writing is to document the progress that you make in your study and some of the challenges that you needed to overcome.

When you practice, you develop and maintain an essential writing skill that will come in handy when you are required to come up with a well-written paper. Continuous writing on your side as a student helps in the accumulation of great content that you can later reuse when you need to! It is quite common to find students struggling with their PhD research papers, abstracts, and proposals simply because they fail to follow this very important tip. It may seem like a time-consuming activity, but it will eventually play a very significant part in your course.

3. Learn to use different online tools

Technology has led to the development of a significant number of online tools that are specially designed to help students write good papers. As you conduct your studies, ensure that you make use of and understand the importance of these great tools as you write your academic papers. In most cases, PhD level research papers and proposals need to be presented in an expert manner and appearance.


Some of the aspects that students need to understand and include in their documents include good references, proper formats, and unique content. In order to determine if your work is refined, you, therefore, need to learn how to use tools such as plagiarism checkers, bibliography generators, and grammar checkers.

You may be able to write an outstanding paper, but if you do not heed to some of the guidelines for a PhD level paper, you may end up performing below your expectations. Most of these tools are easy to use, and you may not need to spend many hours trying to learn how to use them. Ensure that you take your time to familiarize yourself with such tools that may help you at some point in your studies.

4. Take time to learn other things

It is a proven fact that students at the PhD level undergo a wide variety of challenges, and it is vital that they understand how to solve all these challenges if they want to do well. But how do you solve these problems? To become an all-rounded and comfortable individual, you need to take your time to understand all your problems.

Apart from academic issues, you will also be subjected to challenges in managing time, creativity, and motivation. Reading published content and other inspirational materials may present solutions to these challenges. Remember that if you cannot correctly manage your time, you will never be able to create a schedule that helps you study. Reading a book on proper time management can help you grow as a PhD student. The book will most likely present you with practical advice and some of the tips that you can use to come up with a good schedule that balances all your activities.

Following some blogs can also play a significant role in helping you study. The most important part of this tip is to ensure that you read other useful materials and watch valuable videos that can act as a roadmap towards excellence in your PhD programme.

5. Get enough exercise and eat healthy foods

Your desire to perform well may ultimately delude the necessity to remain healthy. Always ensure that you take all appropriate steps to maintain good health. It is common for students at this level to ignore some very important things such as healthy food, enough sleep, and exercise. This can have a very adverse effect on their health in the long run and ultimately take away the ability to study.

It is essential to spend time reading and writing, but it is insensible to work so hard that you do not take care of your health. Ensure that you take time to cook and eat enough healthy foods to avoid diseases. Take some time each day to work out to ensure that all your body muscles are relaxed and that you are not straining. Sit in comfortable working positions that do not strain some parts of your body.

Most importantly, ensure that you are getting enough rest to avoid mental exhaustion. Unfortunately, most students always ignore this vital tip since they consider it as time-wasting. In case you fall sick because of your studies, you will be forced to pay high medical bills, and you will not be in a good state to continue with your studies. To avoid this problem that may significantly interrupt your goals, ensure that you adhere to this great tip.

6. Focus on the critical steps that you make

It is common for learners at the PhD level to lose motivation because of the feeling that they have not been able to produce anything substantial halfway into the program. This is usually common, especially when they fail to attain certain milestones or when they compare their progress to that of others. Ensure that you do not subject yourself to this kind of stress.

The PhD program is made up of many steps, and you are neither too far ahead nor behind. Focus on the small signs of progress that you make throughout the program and have a positive overview. If you finish a few tasks per day, this is more than enough! You are at the right place. You always need to maintain positive energy all the time in order to make sure that you do not give up. If you overthink of the things that you have not achieved, it only serves to make your life more complicated, which is not a good thing for any PhD student.

Bottom Line

Pursuing a PhD is not easy. Many challenges make this journey long and complicated, and you must remain positive. When you take a step by step approach and follow the above give tips to the latter, there is going to be a significant difference in your attitude, and you will feel proud of all the progress that you make.

Ensure that you avoid taking shortcuts and that you ensure to dedicate your time and energy towards your success. Find suitable individuals that can motivate you to perform better and seek any form of relevant advice. Taking all these things into consideration, you might find it quite easier to excel in your PhD program!

Salman Zafar

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