I am currently starting my PhD in physics. I like the work and the working environment, thus I chose the project. The onliest thing I am a bit worried about is that my supervisor is known for changing tasks during the project, regardless of deadlines. I already saw that during my master thesis in the same group, where he told me to start and finish another (rather large) lab task two weeks before my final dead line. I managed to do it, but I would prefer not to have such events again.
Thus I proposed the usage of milestones or project tasks for the project. He responded that he would prefer not to use them, due to possible (yet unknown) new discoveries during the research phase, which then could change the topic completely. That argument makes sense for me, too. But is there still a way to set up at least some borders in order to prevent surprises?

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