Since the PhD is such a long drawn affair it is very useful to have long term and short term goals. It is good to have yearly, monthly, weekly and even daily schedule and goals.
Long Term Goals
Your yearly goals depend to a great extent on the manner in which you are dealing with your PhD, which is something to think about in itself. Whether you want to do all the research and then sit down to write, whether you want to and can chop it up into pieces, do the research and write the relevant chapter and so on. This varies according to the nature of your research and the style you prefer. So the first year’s goal would naturally to produce an upgrade chapter, the second year may be field work and report, and the third year may be rough draft completion
Short Term Goals
- The monthly and weekly goals and deadlines allow you to plan to certain extent what you need to accomplish in the time you have. While this may sound simple and straight forward, having such goals on paper really helps in long term planning and avoids having unrealistic goals.
- The daily tasks are there for two reasons: First, so that you know what you need to complete by the end of the day, each day to meet the weekly goal, and second, so that you can cheerfully tick off the tasks that are completed. In a project in which the final huge tick is four years away, it is good to have small mini-milestones that you can feel happy about J.