[Research] Should I Work on the Weekends?

One of the most common questions that I get from those who just started the PhD or want to join the PhD is can I take weekends off?

The answer is of course you can. This is a free society- It’s PhD not slavery-

Even slaves had to rest.

Then the question goes how much time should I take off-

Well- as always it depends-

If you have no deadlines and your research is on track- You can party over the weekend and beyond.

In fact, there were some PhD students who took some time off after publishing a paper or after end of the semester.

Yup, as long as you are getting things done you can play as much as you want.

Now the real problem is most students and faculty are overwhelmed by work and can’t get it all done-

Does that mean we should not rest?

Absolutely not! God created the world in six days and took a day off.

So should we 😀

Definitely, take a day or two off.

Back in the PhD days, I was so determined that I came to office every day. Most of the times, I was early on the weekends. Of course, why do you come to your office at 9am on Saturday?

I felt like a winner and thought my peers were slackers-

But my efficiency was super low. I could not concentrate.

I was miserable and wrote all the things that I would do after graduating…

Then I watched a ton of YouTube. Later I became more stressed and productivity dropped even further.

On Sunday, I would come after church, and I felt miserable. Because the next day was Monday.

I was never fully rested and I felt miserable. I did that for four years….

So take days off. You need to rest. Your mind and body need rest.

Anyway, fast forward, I had to change programs. I started to going to church (for real) and I met Jesus.

That meant less time on research and more time at church.

I was stressed that I was losing time at church.

But God is the source of wisdom and He loves when we come to Him.

So despite spending more time at church and serving, I became much more efficient.

My performance actually improved. I was happier thanks to Jesus 😀 Also, my mind and body were in better shape.

Looking back, I realize how inefficient it was for me to work 24/7. You just can’t because your efficiency eventually hits rock bottom.

So in sum take days off. Also, sleep and eat well-

It’s a PhD not torture.

Also, remember PhD will end sometime and life after PhD is slightly better. More administration work and teaching and tenure pressure still it is nice to do your own research and live a life of a researcher.

It does get better 😀

Thank You Jesus for all Your love and mercy. Please fill us with joy and love. Amen!

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