How to Keep to the Schedule Writing Your Doctoral Dissertation

The most important part to start out with when organizing a way to keep to your writing schedule is to make a fairly detailed plan. Without a plan, you will have a hard time focusing on what needs to be done each day. Here are some strategies you can use to keep your writing on schedule:

  1. Commit to writing 500 words a day. This is only about a page worth and doesn’t take a lot of time. This strategy will help you through during the times you seem to be stuck and not know where the research is going to lead you next.
  2. Break your chapters or segments into chunks and then plan on working through each chunk in a specified amount of time. This is very helpful because a chapter is a lot of material and if you look at it all at once it seems intimidating or overwhelming. When the chapters are broken down into smaller pieces it’s much easier to sit down and write one of the smaller pieces in one sitting.
  3. Plan on writing at a certain time each day. This prevents the writing time from being put on the bottom of the priority list. Instead, it should be the first thing you put on the schedule each day. All other things can be worked around it. When you’ve established this habit you won’t be able to forget to do your daily writing.
  4. Give yourself some time off at the end of each writing session so you can relax and not feel stressed. This will let you end each day’s writing session feeling energized and happy with your accomplishments rather than wiped out and fatigued.
  5. Don’t make your writing sessions too long each day. If you have a day where you want to get lots of writing done, limit yourself to 1-2 hours at your desk and then take a 15-30 minute break before you start the next writing session. Get up and walk around and do some exercise between writing sessions. Eat a light snack to give your brain some energy.
  6. At the end of each week, make an assessment of how you did. If all went well and you accomplished what you planned to do, feel good about yourself and what you’ve done. If you see room for improvement, make a new commitment to stick to your plan.

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