PhD Diary – October 2020

So this is a collation of my thoughts on the first month of the PhD. I want to write a short post every month about the project’s progress but also my own personal development. The course that I teach on have been getting students to make a diary to help them think about themselves. I found this to be an nice idea and useful in logging the large number of thoughts I will have during the next few years.

So far, there has been a lot of thinking about the future and how to work in the current global environment. What I’ve found hardest to get used to is the autonomous nature of the project. Even during the Masters, there was some scheduled teaching, but now it is completely on me to lead this. This may have been less of a shock if I was working in an environment like I was before. I was able to commute onto campus, but now I am working remote and a fair distance away from the city.

Working remote has its benefits. I can set my own hours and get to work in the comfort of my own home. Yet, the lack of structure means the beast that is procrastination rears its ugly head. Not having rigidity to my schedule makes it easy to push things back and then feel guilty about not doing it. I am going to try putting game-like elements in my work, or even a self-designed mental game. I should look into a ‘star’ system like I had at school where students with good behaviour get a star. If I reward myself with a new game for a certain amount of work, that may give me ample incentive to organise. I’m not too sure on how to do it, but some method of management is important. Especially at a time where I do not have a separate work/life environment.

The aim of this month was to lay the foundations of the thesis and begin the literature review. Being new to the topic of sports psychology, I got help from the supervisors who gave me some reading to start with. This proved to be useful and has begun to build my knowledge in that field, which will be key for the project aims. The next action will be to focus the literature on the topics of interest, but I have to figure out what they are first. Also, I need to be look at what skills I will need this first year and what taught sessions I should attend.

The literature found so far surrounds both Games Psychology and Sports Psychology. I noticed that there was a lot of overlap in what they discuss, but used different terms. So it may be useful to look into creating some visual links to begin to settle on what terms are most appropriate. But, I want to avoid reinventing the wheel or misinterpreting the original definitions that it draws upon.

There’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment, both for myself and for the project, especially with what else is happening in the world right now. But these questions are a natural part of the process. Looking forward, I want to begin to provide some structure and organization to what I am doing and how I do it. If I can start there, then things should begin to fall into place. The long road begins.

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