You’ve been working hard on your dissertation this summer, honing your process, becoming surer of your argument, and thinking about the end. And the end is definitely in sight. Yay!!
A couple of clients who have just gone through an unexpectedly bumpy patch right toward the end of their work made a suggestion to pass on. They said, “Keep your eye out for complacency!”
When your work seems to be coming together, complacency can creep in, sabotaging your momentum.
The complacency gremlin will encourage you to take a couple of mornings off or to start later than usual. It will egg you on, pushing you to open a couple of emails and then a couple more.
You’ve worked hard to put structures in place to support you. Don’t let them slip and slide and let you down.
3 Strategies to Block Complacency:
1. Most writers eventually come around to thinking that mornings are when they do their best writing. If you have found success during the morning hours, be absolutely faithful to your morning routine now. No excuses.
2. Do not open your email before you begin to work—go to your document, open it, and jump in. Don’t read even one email before you’ve put in your time writing.
3. Watch for the urge to take a break when the writing is going well. When you’re feeling in flow or starting to feel productive, don’t take a break. See complacency for what it is—self-sabotage. And dissertation sabotage can happen at any time.
One client says that when she starts to feel complacency creeping in, she tells herself, “Don’t even think about breaking. Work for an hour, and then we’ll talk about it.”
Sounds like that might work! Be vigilant; be tough.
Have you felt complacency sneaking up on you? I’d love to hear how you’ve handled it.
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Until next time,
Nancy Whichard, PhD, PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach