The main thing that counts when it comes to the dissertation is how much writing is actually accomplished. Yes, there are other things to do such as reading research articles, reading possible theories for inclusion, and locating a source of participants/subjects, just to name a few.
But only writing the dissertation really counts.
Many students delay writing until they have read all the literature. It is unlikely that you can read everything since new articles are constantly being published. So what’s the answer?
Small, Consistent Dissertation Writing is Paramount
In her book, Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, Joan Bolder, was very optimistic that 15 minutes was enough. I suggest 30 minutes. A very effective strategy is to enter “dissertation completion” into your daily appointment book and make the commitment to writing or revising some part of your dissertation for 30 minutes. It may not seem like such a big deal until you consider what 30 minutes per day adds up to in a week. That’s 3 and a half hours, which is 14 hours in a month. As a long-time dissertation coach and consultant, I can tell you that I have worked with many dissertation students that have never invested much time in writing.
Program Yourself for Success
You will notice that I recommend you make an appointment with yourself and enter “dissertation completion” in the book. The word, completion, becomes an imbedded command according to the theory of neurolinguistic programming. When you write the words dissertation completion at a specific time in your appointment book, you are giving yourself a command to do something that ultimately you really need to do.
And by the way after working on your dissertation its very likely that you will continue writing a little longer. Maybe 30 to 45 minutes. Maybe an hour. That’s okay. The more time you invest working on your dissertation, the more progress you will make.
Activate Yourself for Maximum Efficiency
The whole point in making an appointment with yourself is to be active on a daily basis. When you are reading, revising, and writing on your dissertation every day, the quality of your efforts will increase because you maintain continuity and focus. Just getting to the dissertation stage is a major accomplishment. You have passed dozens of courses. You have had your prospectus approved. You have written your proposal. And you have completed the application for the institutional review board (IRB). You have proven to yourself and the university that you are a competent doctoral student worthy of continuing on to conducting dissertation research. Just give it 30 minutes a day and soon enough your dissertation will be done and you will graduate with your doctorate!