I find it interesting how determined most of us are to derail ourselves in big and small ways. We can put a lot of effort into avoiding focusing on a dissertation.
How about you? Perhaps you have developed a terrific plan and writing routine, just as has one of my dissertation clients. If not, there’s hope. Take some cues from my client who credits his plan for his increased productivity.
My client’s plan works because it is both basic and elegant. The plan centers on a “twice –a-day schedule.”
As he rides the bus to his day job, he plans what work he’ll do on his dissertation in his first session of the day. Once he’s close to his office, he finds a quiet place to work, and for about 45 minutes, he follows his plan and either writes or edits a section of his dissertation. Then he goes on to his usual place of work and puts in a full day. At day’s end, after he’s returned home and has had dinner, he puts in about 90 minutes in his second writing session.
He says that the twice-a-day schedule allows him to be more productive than if he worked a longer session once a day. The writing is never far from his mind. He finds that he looks forward to returning to the work at the next session. And even over holidays, he tries to adhere somewhat to his plan just to keep his head in the material.
If you haven’t put a plan into action, first turn off the internet, television, and whatever else is distracting you. Believe me, I know that finding the will to write is not easy, but you can do it. It starts with taking control and laying down the basics for yourself.
1. When will you write? What day and what time?
2. Where will you write?
3. What will you write in that first session?
4. And when does the first session end?
5. Rinse and repeat.
Nothing much will happen until you have a given yourself specific directions. What is your plan? What’s your own twist that makes the plan work for you?
Happy end of November to you. December looks like a good month for writing, don’t you think?
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com
- Horn Dissertation of the Day: R. Strauss’s Horn Concertos (horninsights.com)