The single most important strategy is to make a commitment to work on your project every single day… and the minimum amount you should dedicate each day is 12-15 minutes.
Making this type of commitment isn’t as difficult as you might think. The first step is to complete a comprehensive “task list” that includes every single item — large and small — that you will need to do in order to complete your degree. Many of these items will fall under what we label “12-minute tasks,” such as creating the dedication, acknowledgement pages or table of contents for your dissertation, or sequencing figure numbers, table and appendices, formatting your document, or checking your bibliography against the citations in your document.
On days when you’re feeling a little less ambitious, work down your list until you reach one (or more!) of your tasks that can be completed in 12 minutes or less. No task is too small, and no item is too insignificant. Every action you take will move you closer to getting accomplishing your goal. Each morning refer to your checklist and ask yourself, “What action can I take today to move my thesis or dissertation forward?” Resolve yourself to work on at least of those items each and every day. No task is too small, and no item — such as “creating the cover page” — is too insignificant.
Come on, you can work for just 12 minutes! Simply set your watch, cell phone, microwave or timer and see what you can accomplish in that timeframe.