Writing a dissertation is a grueling process that requires not only academic excellence in drafting but also discipline. And, most importantly – it requires maintaining constant self-motivation throughout the day and, much more difficult, throughout the year, maybe even more. The start of the school year, the pandemic which has thrown off all plans, all add to the already bad mood regarding the inner voice of ‘’yes, it’s time to sit down and start editing my paper and writing my dissertation. Just the motivation that helps us write and is perhaps the main driving force behind the realization of our idea to improve our academic level and defend ourselves.
How do you make sure that the positive incentives for motivation don’t run out, but last until the printed work – the dissertation – is on your desk?
7 motivational tips so you don’t stop working when you’re writing your dissertation
1. Stickers in a prominent place
Put up stickers. A series of short slogans that you can hang on your desk, or in a prominent place so that you can see them every time you sit down to work, or go to bed.
2. What to mark on the stickers?
Don’t write global plans: finish chapter 1 by such and such a day. Or worse, finish the most difficult section of your dissertation in two months. Such slogans will just slowly “burn you out”.
Set goals for the next 3-5 days. For example: “read 10 new articles and make extracts for 2 paragraphs”. Or: “do the calculations…”.
3. Set small tasks
When you are writing your dissertation, don’t make unrealistic plans for yourself. Learning to write a good academic text requires a lot of experience, which you do not have, or it is very small. So set yourself only those tasks that you can do, for example: “Today I’m only doing statistics, or today I’m “drafting” the first paragraph, even if it’s as bad as you want.
4. obsession is not necessary
Strange as it may sound in the field of academic work, obsession is needed in the goal itself: “I will become a candidate or doctoral student”, but obsession is not needed in the constant work on the dissertation. Obsession, in this case, only leads you to unnecessary excitement (“no time”, “time is running out”, “nothing written”…).
The excitement gets so intense that you may end up quitting your dissertation altogether, justifying to yourself that there is no time, and I won’t defend it.
I can live with myself.
That’s not the verdict you give yourself by virtue of your abilities. Very many people come to the idea of defending a thesis, already working in their specialty people who have practical knowledge, and there is a lot of material at work, which should only be analyzed and prepared for the text of the thesis. But you have already given yourself a verdict.
5. Write a little, but often
I always advise that it is ideal to write at least 200 words a day, which is only 1-2 paragraphs. Let the paragraphs be not of very good quality yet, at the first stages it doesn’t matter. The main thing is to write paragraph by paragraph, so you will get the habit of keeping the topic of your dissertation in your head, and the text will increase, which will undoubtedly make you happy.
Celebrate any small achievement, not just when you get praise from your supervisor or advisor for your paper or dissertation paragraph. Celebrate with a small celebratory dinner with family, an outing with friends at any end of a paragraph, or just the end of a section.
Don’t want to go out? Then just tell yourself, “Cool! Finished! I’ll rest for the day, and move on!”.
7. If it’s difficult and the text won’t write
If you’re stuck at a point and it’s not going anywhere, leave this section alone. Write another, lighter one. As time passes, you’ll see that the thoughts have come and you won’t find it so difficult to get down to the abandoned section.
Scientific academic writing is a long way off. You write your dissertation and think that the dissertation is the zenith of academic writing. Your dissertation is just the beginning of your skills in academic writing, so keep the process simple and easy by following my advice.
Have a successful defense!