Are you hoping to do a bunch of work over the summer? You’re not alone. Almost every day I hear those very same words from my clients.
What can you put in place now that will help you be a productive writer this summer?
1. Find out exactly how much time you are working now and what you are producing during that time.
When you start a diet, the first step is often to record every bite that you are eating. If you’re serious about writing a bunch this summer, you first need to find out exactly how much you are working now. If you are working, you’ll have something to show for it. Track your work—keep a log. How are you spending your time each day? What did you produce? How many pages did you write? How many pages did you read?
2. Analyze your findings.
Did you find that you spent 5 hours at your computer, but have no writing to show for it, or very little? What had you planned to do during that time? So what were you doing?
3. Make a Weekly Time Commitment Record.
For every week of the summer, starting now, make a detailed plan that includes every day. You need to write your commitment or goal for each day and then record what you actually did produce each day. You must be very detailed, very specific.
Your log/schedule needs to have several columns, with each column labeled:
b. Commitment of what time of day you will work
c. Commitment of number of hours you will work each day
d. Actual time of day that you worked
e. Actual number of hours you worked each day
f. Notes: What you did during each hour, even if it was organizing your desk. Be sure to include exactly how much writing you did—in number of words or number of pages.
4. Be accountable to someone.
Keeping track of how much writing you produce each week and how much time you spent working will work best if you are accountable to someone. If you know that you are going to show your Weekly Time Commitment to a dissertation coach or your advisor, you will be much more likely to stick to the commitment.
You’ll be smart to get started observing and making commitments now. Don’t put obstacles in your own way. Plan for productivity.
Here’s to a great summer!
Nancy Whichard, PhD, PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach
P.S. I’m just about ready to send out my Smart Tips newsletter. I think you’ll enjoy it – the lead article in this issue is “5 Strategies for Drastic Situations.” Go to my website at www.nancywhichard.com, and underneath my picture on the home page, sign up for Smart Tips.