The Importance of Staying on Task

Academic News & Updates
Dissertation Motivation

Completing a dissertation takes a great deal of time, effort, and concentration. Ideally, writing your dissertation should be the focus of your life until it is completed. However, many of us do not have the luxury of devoting ourselves entirely to our dissertations. We have families, careers, and jobs. We have responsibilities and obligations that demand our time and attention. Balancing the demands of life and the demands of your dissertation is daunting, but it is not impossible. Still, it takes consistent effort to stay engaged in the dissertation process. And stay engaged you must!

The surest way to become stalled is to stop working on your dissertation for long periods of time, to put things off, and to work sporadically. Such strategies disengage you from the dissertation process and cause you to lose momentum. So, it is crucial that you stay engaged with your dissertation, that you work regularly, and not just when you have extended chunks of free time.

One ineffective strategy, for example, is to wait for times that you can devote yourself to the dissertation uninterrupted: free weekends, days off, vacations. Certainly, such times are valuable and should not be squandered. Nor should they be considered an efficient work strategy. Extended chunks of free time occur too infrequently and unpredictably to be effective over time.

Let’s face it, we will always have responsibilities, obligations, and other tasks. That’s life. So, you should approach your dissertation like anything else you want to accomplish: carve out and devote regular, scheduled time to it. And keep that time sacrosanct. Working on a dissertation is challenging, and it can become easy to make excuses for not working on it. How often are you tempted to say, I can’t work on my dissertation now, I need to (fill in the blank)?

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The demands of life will sidetrack you from your dissertation if you let them. You can counter this by setting a regular schedule for working on your dissertation and sticking to it. Consistent, regular work sessions help keep you engaged with your dissertation. Then, you can devote larger chunks of time to it when you have them.

The most successful students we have helped to complete their dissertations worked consistently and stayed engaged with the process. If you want to complete your dissertation, you should too.

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