Last week three different dissertation coaching clients came to their calls with me frustrated.
One started the call by saying she felt “crappy.” Another was also clearly cranky.
What had happened? Each of them had had their writing time appropriated.
One client, the father of a 7-month-old, was exhausted as well as cranky. He had been up with a sick baby. He had lost writing time. And even though he was now sick, he couldn’t take time off from his job because he had taken sick leave to take the baby to the doctor.
If you have children, then you understand how frustrating this can be. I don’t know if there is any way around it. But you do get a big virtual hug. Writing a diss while working full time and raising kids takes incredible resilience.
Another client had had her time commandeered by her employer. Her employer is giving a major presentation and needs an enormous amount of data and other work that only my client could produce. My client had to give lots of extra time. Not many choices here either. But if you find yourself in this situation, remember that you finish the task and then claim time for yourself.
The dilemma presenting itself to the third client was particularly upsetting.
A professor asked my client to do some work on a project that is not in the subject area of her diss. The professor is not her advisor. He does not teach at her university. But he may be in a position to hire her.
My client had stewed and fretted over what to do, throwing valuable time away. She felt that he had used his power to hijack her writing time. She could have said no, but she will need a job soon.
When she decided that she also had some power in the situation and that she could make a choice, she was ready to move forward.
There will always be demands on your time.
What is important is to decide if you have any choices. If you do, make it as easy on yourself as you can. Where can you cut your losses and move on without investing any more of your time and emotional energy than you need to?
If you have no choice, if you have a feverish, sick baby, then rest with your baby.
How do you deal with demands on your time? I’d love to hear from you.
I’d also be happy to send you a copy of my free e-newsletter. Please go to my website to sign up (www.nwcoaching.com).
Until next time,