16324983-300x201Often, we are fortunate enough to have someone in our community share more ideas that we can all use.  If you are writing your dissertation, here are some tips from Dr. Davinia Thornley (who finished her dissertation!)

  • Make a list of “things you really need to do right now” on a notepad while you are writing—and then get back to your writing. Do those things only after your writing time is up for the day. (This saved me from procrastinating SO MANY TIMES).
  • Try writing particularly difficult sections of the text as though you were explaining your work to a well-educated friend in a letter.
  • For those times when you are combating being “down in the dumps,” consider these:
    • Try writing out your negative thoughts as you are working on your dissertation on a notepad, so that you understand what primary concerns keep resurfacing and filling up your headspace with noise.
    • Then try recording positive responses to these negative thoughts on an index card and leaving them there in case of “down times,” when you can read them over.
    • Good examples include: “You do not have to get all this done today. Just work on this one section. Little by little, you will complete this project” and “You have had these [negative] thoughts before about other large tasks in graduate school (i.e. preliminary papers; exams) and have completed them. There is no reason to believe you won’t complete this dissertation. You are hard-working and motivated to finish.”
  • Keep it simple!! Remember the dissertation is not your life’s work—the goal is to complete the dissertation to fulfill the requirements for the degree, so that you can go forward and DO your life’s work!

(c) Dr. Davinia Thornley, Senior Lecturer
Te Tari Papaho/Department of Media, Film, and Communication
Te Whare Wananga o Otago/University of Otago
Aotearoa/New Zealand
Recent publication: Cinema, Cross-Cultural Collaboration, and Criticism: Filming on an Uneven Field (Palgrave Macmillan)

Postponing Writing Procrastination - PerspectiveYou aren’t lacking for ideas. Allow them to be there for you so you can postpone your writing procrastination. Access the Get a Plan! Guide® to Postponing Writing Procrastination - with a cool mini-poster to help you remember 15 different tips for putting off your writing procrastination, just visit Get a Plan! Guide.