If you have been involved in other demanding projects and are now coming back to your dissertation, your inclination may be first to review and read over all of your notes and everything that you’ve written.
And how much time would the review consume?
Oh, I will venture a guess that it could consume your day. It could go on forever, right?
Instead of letting the review become a marathon, try this:
1) Set the number of hours you plan to work in this session.
2) Decide how best you could use your time during the review. What specifically will you re-read—your outline? Proposal? Introduction to the first two chapters?
3) Where are you heading after you’ve read your outline, proposal and introductions? What is the new work you will do? Take stock–what is the challenge you’re facing right now in your writing? What is the difficult section or chapter that awaits you?
4) Decide how you will divide the time available between the review and the new work. What fraction of the time will you review? What fraction of the time will you write?
5) If you have 3 hours of work, could you do the review in 1 hour or 1 hour and 15 minutes? That would be less than ½ of the time available, leaving most of your available time for moving forward.
We can easily make ourselves believe that we really need to spend more time reviewing, but the goal is to keep moving forward.
To re-start your project and to get your momentum going, make a detailed plan for your writing session that will quickly move you into producing text