The summer is over and I’m thankful that this past summer I spent working with graduate students in Michigan, Maryland, and in North Carolina. I hope your summer was productive enough to propel and motivate you to work better and smarter the remainder of the year. Even if you have taken the summer off or did very little during the summer, I wish you all the best for a prosperous and productive semester! What are your goals for this week, this month, and this semester? Are you graduating, defending your dissertation or proposal, completing your comprehensive exams, your coursework?
In graduate school and when you are writing your dissertation time marches on as we enter another month. It’s hard to believe that in only a few months this year will be over. For many graduate students late August marks the return to school and the beginning of another school year. For dissertation writers August marks another semester brings mixed feelings of seeing the freshmen class move their boxes onto campus with the excitement of new beginnings and another reminder that your dissertation is still hanging over your head. Holidays like Labor Day can mean something for graduate students who work full-time; it’s a day off from the daily grind. There’s not another holiday until Thanksgiving. Stop waiting for the holidays, advisor’s feedback, completion of experiments, to provide you with the enthusiasm and motivation to write your dissertation. It’s important to accomplish something even when you don’t feel like writing. How enthusiastic do you have to be to create a Table of Contents, Approval page, Dedication page, Cover page, References, create an outline etc? Dance, even if you don’t hear the music. Writing your dissertation is not mainly about writing it’s about effective time management.