Last week I spent four days in Maryland’s Dissertation Bootcamp referred to as Dissertation House coaching 19 graduate students to PhDcompletion. Some students worked on their proposals while others worked on their dissertations.
“Our greatest weakness is giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison
I find this quote very inspiring. This blog is a summary of the lessons learned:
- When you are in the final stages of writing your dissertation you have to make you and your writing a priority—translation? It’s all about you.
- When you are feeling overwhelmed and sorry for yourself…it means that your schedule is not tight enough….translation? You need to plan every minute of every day.
- It is your responsibility to be cognizant of the graduation deadlines and requirements
- Don’t think that your advisor wants you to graduate more than you want to.
- Do what is required first then proceed onto what you could do if you had enough time.
- You don’t have to work alone.
- Your advisor is not your best friend.
- Treat writing your dissertation like a job or a course…work on it on a regular basis.
- Hire a professional editor
- Recreate your best writing environment
- Stop waiting for your advisor to read your chapter before you move on to the next
- Stop asking your advisor for advice on what you should do with your FREE time
- Start counting down the days until graduation
- If you want to graduate, act like…you can’t spend your regular amount of time answering emails, surfing the net, hanging out with friends etc.
- Take regular breaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- If you have a workout routine stick with it
- Practice your 2 minute talk about your research without jargon or filler words such as “like” “ums,’ “ahs”, “so”, “ands”..
- Stop waiting for inspiration “Dance even if you don’t hear the music”