I keep constantly on top of my long to-do lists!

The end of February is coming soon and it’s that time of the month when I check how I keep up with my personal and professional growth. If you missed the January edition click here. February has been a month dense of good news and changes. The biggest news was that I got a job offer and I will start a new position as a research chemist in pharma in less than 10 days.  When I was told that my interview was successful and the company wanted me to start the new job asap, I couldn’t believe it. After months and months of travelling up and down the country, rejections, motivation letters, CV editing, financial pressure, being stuck with my life without being able to make plans for the future, I couldn’t believe that I was finally able just to sit back and relax (not for long though!).

After the initial excitement, I started panicking (hello anxiety!) because the list of things to do before moving was endless.

PhD, does it ever come to an end? The last I heard from my committee was that my thesis was rubbish, I had loads of reading and writing to do and potentially I had to go back to the lab. Going back to the lab wasn’t just an option because I didn’t have the financial capacity to take a few months off to do it. So, I rushed off to find a job to make it clear that I just wanted to move on with my life. I established priorities and at that point, my PhD thesis wasn’t one! As soon as I was offered a job, I emailed my committee and asked for a meeting to discuss my thesis. They were happy with the reading I did over Christmas, the way I wanted to fix and make my work more scientific. So, they gave me loads of freedom to decide what to do with my thesis. That was an amazing feeling because I felt like they trusted me and my judgement as a scientist. I still have loads of work to do, but I don’t feel like I want to rush anymore. I have loads of time to make my corrections and I don’t have to do it all in one day.

A big task is the sum of a large number of small ones!

So, after my meeting, I made a personal plan and decided to write a paragraph of my thesis each day. It doesn’t matter if I write 100 or 1000 words each day. The most important thing is about making progress and small progress is better than no progress! To know more about optimising your writing performances check here.


When I was told about the job offer, the company wanted me to start asap meaning whitin 4 weeks. That was too little time for me and, with the help of my recruiter, I managed to negotiate 5 weeks before starting my new employment. This would have given time to write my thesis and also plan the relocation. So, the other big task to sort out in a month was finding and setting out my new house. And trust me that the list of things here was also endless: finding the new accommodation, breaking all the utility contracts, making new ones, arranging the van for moving, cleaning the old and new house, packing… you name it! Priority number one was finding the new place. So, I started looking for a house to rent on the internet and booked 5 appointments on the same day.  Luckily, I managed to find a nice place and once I knew where to move, I booked the van and transferred all the utility bills to the new house. I am slowly in the process of packing and cleaning and I dedicate one hour each day to do it so that it doesn’t feel like a burden. And trust me that there is nothing that I dislike more than doing the cleaning. I will try to do my best but if it becomes impossible, I will just pay someone to get it done for me.

At the beginning of Feb, I justed panicked because of all the things I had to get done in 5 weeks before starting my new employment. I am almost done with my to-do list and the reason why I did it is that:

1. I established priorities

2. I divided big commitments into small tasks

3. When it got too much, I just delegated to someone else.

See you next month! Exciting new stuff with the new job coming soon and moving out from Nottingham, Ciao


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