Several of my writing and dissertation clients are trying to finish a dissertation or finish a book at the same time that they’re teaching or working full time and also trying to be attentive to the people in their lives.
And they wonder why they aren’t getting more work done on their dissertations!
One of my clients went on a vacation recently. She had not reached her writing goal, but she says it’s time to make some changes.
Over the past couple of months, her work has been more and more of a struggle for her. She would make a little progress, but then hit the wall. She was feeling more anxious and more uncertain about her writing than she had been in quite some time. She even felt that she had lost the vision for a chapter that she had clearly worked out not very long ago.
A good friend suggested to her that the writing probably wouldn’t come unless she took a break to ease some of the pressure.
At her friend’s advice, my client put her writing project away. She made a great meal for herself and her husband. She also called her mother and caught up on all of the family news.
The next morning my client went for a run and came home to have coffee. While she sat at the kitchen table, she suddenly had a moment of clarity.
In an a-ha moment, the way into the chapter that had been eluding her became clear. She suddenly saw how to write the introduction. She went to her computer and wrote two pages. Soon she wrote another page.
She’s planning some changes to her schedule now. She will shorten her daily working time and build in some breaks. She needs to let her mind have time to process the work she’s been doing and to rest.
Recalibrate is her word for what she is doing now, and it makes a lot of sense to me.
How much have you been juggling over the past year? Far too much? Relaxation can increase creativity and lead to insights.
How about checking your schedule? Where are you giving your mind time to repair and regenerate?
Until next time,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach