Choose your own adventure - 1. Skip to the bottom to get the writing paper check list. 2. Read on for some musings from a PhD student.
Every where you go people tell you to "love the journey." It's about the journey, not the destination. It's the steps along the road. More and more we're encouraged to focus more on putting one foot in front of the other knowing that if we're "on the right path" we're going to get to our overarching goals.
I actually don't disagree - in fact, I fully agree. What gets a bee in my bonnet is when people that have knowledge and information do not make that knowledge or information accessible to be able to take those steps into knowing and assured futures. There's only a couple of things you actually do in your PhD - read, research, write, repeat. With a few permutations now and again (e.g. present, teach) - but the majority of the time it is shampoo, rinse, repeat. You would think when you have such a niche - there would be enormous clarity on the 'how's' of this basic building blocks to publications or presentations. Sadly, in my experience it's been clear as mud. This may be related to a number of factors - but as it stands, I am often in the dark with no hope of a light switch. As such, I'm trying to build things as I go. Make processes, checklists, instructions and to-do's to make the PhD more about the great parts - the generation of knowledge, the ability to interrogate what we have been taught to think and why and ultimately, and hopefully, make the world a better place than it is for others. And seriously not have to waste your time on the administrative mumbo-jumbo that is still taxing on the brain - when you could be using those brain cells for other worldly purposes.
This is not an encompassing checklist - nor is it meant to be. It's a starting point that you can add to but that can prompt your thinking - especially if you are a newbie like me.