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  • Writer's pictureMaria Stefanidi


Do you want to become more productive when it comes to your dissertation? If that’s the case, sit back, relax, and read through the 5 tips to find out which one suits you.

Know your why-when it comes to productivity, techniques and strategies are important, but if you don't understand why you do what you do, everything else literally doesn't matter.

Create a vision of who you want to become. This vision is the driving force behind everything you do on a daily basis. When you discover your why you become more produ

ctive because you are motivated, you know what you want to know, and you have a purpose.

Let’s take me, for example. I do what I do because I believe all higher education students can successfully hand in their dissertation, regardless of whether they believe it’s possible or not. Writing your dissertation doesn’t have to be a struggle. Yes, I understand how difficult, time-consuming, demanding, and challenging it can be at times. Perhaps you feel insecure, insufficient, scared, paralyzed, overwhelmed, burned out, or you might have given up on yourself.

In my opinion, no student should have to feel this way while trying to complete their dissertation. Writing a dissertation can be a very creative project, and you should feel excited enough, confident, organized, hopeful, guided, and proud of yourself.

When you figure out your why, you know exactly what you should be doing at all times, and you do just that.

Set clear goals- I am sure you have read about the importance of setting clear goals before, and you might be wondering why they are so important. Let me explain; goals help you stay focused, on track, and maintain momentum. While on your dissertation journey, you might have to juggle too many tasks or feel overwhelmed. Having a goal allows you to focus with laser precision on your daily tasks.

You are not studying just for the purpose of it. You are studying because you have a destination to arrive at because you have a goal in mind: To complete your dissertation and get your degree. Your dissertation must be a big deal for you in order to make it your number one goal.

And I am overemphasizing the need to identify one main goal because when it comes to goal setting, the more goals you set, the less likely you are to attain them. It’s only natural because if you set many goals you have to divide your time and resources among them all. However, if you just have one clear, well-defined goal that is time-sensitive, meaning you have a deadline to meet, can devote all your time and resources towards achieving that one goal.

Now is the time to think about what goal(s) you want to achieve. What do you want to accomplish? Think about it…Hopefully, you all come up with the same answer “finish my dissertation”!

Keep in mind that your goal must be something you think about throughout the day. It must be embedded into your everyday life.

So, you can start by:

  • Setting a goal

  • Sticking to it

  • Believing in yourself

  • Breaking it down into actionable steps

  • Putting in the work

  • Being consistent

  • Challenging yourself

  • Making it a reality!

Taking full responsibility-This has been a game-changer for me. When you know what you are supposed to be doing, but you make excuses for why you are not doing it, it makes you fall into the trap of being a little lazy, and thus you remain stagnant.

Making excuses keeps you from growing. When you acknowledge, accept, and learn from your mistakes, you take full responsibility for your actions. Please, don’t point the finger at anything outside of yourself. It’s not the weather (whether it’s super nice and you can’t concentrate or super cold and you are feeling a little blue), it’s not your not-so-comfortable chair; it’s not the slow internet, it’s not your job, it’s not your friends, it’s not the social media and who knows what else.

The truth is that if you don’t take responsibility, you will always find something or someone to blame. Don’t blame others. Start having conversations with yourself and take your responsibility seriously.

When you realize and accept that finishing your dissertation is entirely up to you, your productivity will skyrocket. Nobody else is going to do your dissertation for you. You must do it yourself. You must do it on your own.

And you might consider it this way: Don’t be afraid to take responsibility because having complete control gives you the power to do anything you want. Finishing your dissertation is entirely in your hands.

Batching-The more tasks you switch during the day, the less productive you are going to be. And I am sure that this sounds quite familiar to some of you: You are working on your dissertation, when another task comes up, and suddenly you find yourself not working on your dissertation anymore, but doing something else instead, which means that by the end of the day, you haven’t accomplished much.

This occurs as a result of a phenomenon known switching fatigue. This means that the amount of productive energy you have during the day is reduced by switching your focus from one task to another.

That is why you should batch your work by devoting your entire day to one specific task. For example, on Mondays and Tuesdays, you could devote your time to researching various resources related to your dissertation topic. Wednesdays could be recording days. I use the term “recording” to refer to keeping track of everything you have read in the last two days, by recording it. On Thursdays, you could select keywords or key phrases for each resource that you discovered. This will eventually help you in categorizing them and determining the ideal location for each resource on your dissertation map. On Fridays, you could complete your academic checklist to self-evaluate your research progress.

My advice would be to devote the majority of your day to a single task. Try to be consistent, decide which areas of your dissertation tasks you can categorize and batch and block out at least 2 hours per day to focus on those tasks.

Manage your energy-Managing your energy will be extremely important when it comes to your productivity because everyone has a limited amount of energy per day. And if you know that your energy is limited, you will want to make sure you are making the most of it. Throughout the day, we all have a limited amount of energy. You consider your personal energy in the form of a battery. The more you use it throughout the day, the more it depletes. So, if you go to class or work and you use the majority of your energy during the day, you will have far less energy at night than you did in the morning. As a result, it’s crucial to focus on the most challenging task first because that it demands the most energy from you to get it done.

So, if you decide to tackle the most challenging tasks first, you must set aside at least 4 hours throughout the day to do so.

I believe the things that make a difference and move you towards your goal in your life, you education and your business to be the hardest. That’s why you want to prioritize them when you are at your peak. Because once you develop the habit of doing the difficult things, you will gain a lot of momentum.

Because tine and energy are limited, you must protect them. Your daily life is actually defined by how you use your time and energy.

You have made it to the end of this post. If you liked what you read and you want to enhance your productivity, follow me on Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

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