The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Patience

One of the secrets of accelerating your progress toward your ultimate goal of earning a doctoral degree is to practice the 4 Ps.


I am not referring to Product, Price, Promotion, and Place, the 4 Ps of Marketing.


Rather, I am referring to an equally important list of Ps related to doctoral study—Planning, Persistence, Patience, and Participation.


In this article, I will discuss the third P—Patience.


Whoever said that patience is a virtue, knew what he or she was talking about. Within the context of your doctoral program, you will get farther faster if you assume that people you are depending on to read and comment on your work or to advise you about what program requirements to complete in what order are doing their best to be helpful.


It is particularly important that you allow reviewers the time they need (within the established guidelines) to review, provide feedback on, and grade your work. I find it difficult to understand why some students set themselves up for frustration by expecting busy reviewers to drop everything and review their submissions practically overnight when they have often taken months to write their papers.


Getting impatient with the perceived interruptions from these required reviews causes many problems, such as raising your stress levels, which in turn causes you to lose focus on your work while you deal with your stress. Furthermore, if you let your impatience affect your attitude and tone towards your advisors, mentor, committee members, or others, you run the risk of alienating the people whose guidance you need to navigate the uncharted waters of your personal dissertation journey.


So, as the road signs often say, “Expect Delays,” and deal with them not as delays but as part of the process. They are, after all, an important part of the process that helps to ensure that your work is of the highest quality and thus meets the standards of the university and the academy. If you cannot do that, at least try to see them as, at worst, bumps in the road.  Whatever you do, do not let your impatience get the better of you and result in your building them into major obstacles that impede or halt your progress.


To learn more about the secrets to doctoral study success, read Student to Scholar and Dissertation Research.