How often have you been in the midst of a conversation with a close relative or friend and suddenly you’re asked, “When do you think you’ll finish your dissertation?”
Or you might get this zinger: “Do you know of anyone in your field who has actually landed a job?”
When you are minutes away from a writing session, ready to produce text, you don’t want put your work in jeopardy.
Instead of taking the chance on a bad phone call, take responsibility for your own mood:
1. Put off returning or making phone calls during the lead-in time to your writing sessions for your dissertation. Do all that you can to protect yourself from negative emotions that you would be hard put to shake. Your mood and your time are too valuable to risk them on a conversation that could be put off until later.
2. In addition, put off anything prior to your writing session that could distract you, including reading email and newspaper headlines and watching TV morning shows.
3. Also, put off other work that can be done later, such as straightening up the kitchen and bath, sorting socks, and making grocery lists.
1. As you move into your morning writing session, slow down– don’t rush into writing as if you are running to catch the subway.
2. Put yourself into a good mood—listen to a bit of music, slowly lift a couple of weights, stretch, look out the window at a tree, look at a favorite picture on your wall. Writing is indeed easier when you are in a good mood.
3. Breathe deeply and relax your shoulders and neck.
4. Calmly open your document and remind yourself of your goals for the day.
As you plan your writing sessions, think about how you can create emotional well-being and eliminate or at least reduce the drama.
I’d love to hear what protective boundaries you have drawn for yourself.
P.S. Put off anything that would derail you, but don’t put off writing. If you need help with putting a writing habit in place, let me know. I’d like to help. For example, consider dissertation boot camp – it can make a surprising difference.
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach