You’ve made a big deadline? Hurray for you!
If you’ve sent off a revised draft of a chapter or major chunk of your dissertation to your advisor or you’ve finished multiple revisions of an article and sent it off to a journal, pat yourself on the back, think about what comes next….
And then take some time off. It could be two days or a week, but give yourself time to regenerate and restore your depleted resources.
Go swimming. Read a novel. Spend time with a friend or your partner.
Afraid that you will hide out when it’s time to get back into action? Then put a few things in place to help you get back o.k.
Here are four tips to help you make an easier reentry:
1. Mark your calendars for the day and the time you will be back at work. Make the start time as important as a departure time would be for you if you had a flight scheduled that day. Plan to do your laundry or check your email much earlier or much, much later, but not at the time you are restarting your writing.
2. Clarify the first steps. Determine some specifics on what to do that first day back at work. Why bother to set a date to start, if you sabotage yourself by having no plan?
3. Learn from the past. If you are a bit monkey-brained as you think about planning your first steps after you return, free-write now for five minutes about what you have learned from the work you’ve just completed, learning that you will put into play for the next section or chapter or writing project.
4. Put your plans where you can’t miss them. Situate the plans to be the first things you see when you turn on your computer or print them out so they’re physically in the middle of your clean desk.
You deserve a guilt-free break. Mark your calendars and publicize the day and time you’ll be back at work. Put your plans for your first steps after you return in plain sight. A small price for a guilt-free break!
I would love to hear how you make a break part of your writing process.
Until next time,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach