Writing a dissertation is hard work. Actually, that’s a pretty big understatement. Doing original thinking, research, and writing is an absolutely massive undertaking. Even for someone that is focused on nothing else, this will take months and months or more.
If you’ve got kids in your life, writing a dissertation is even harder, because kids do tend to take up a fair amount of time. That said, it’s not impossible. In this article, we are offering up some tips on how to write your dissertation when you’ve got kids.
Wake Up Early Or Stay Up Late
In order to make any progress at all, you really need to find blocks of time to work. You’ll get a lot more work done in a two-hour block of time than you would in eight 15 minute bursts. But, if you’re kids are home, it can be really hard to find chunks of uninterrupted time.
So, when you want to get some writing done like developing your research methodology or writing the literature review, you should consider waking up in the wee hours of the morning and get right down to business. By the time the kids roll out of bed, you will have a huge sense of satisfaction from everything that you have already accomplished.
Create Blocks Of Time
Chances are that you won’t be able to write your entire dissertation in the hours that your kids are asleep. So, you’ll want to find a way to create blocks of time. This might mean having your spouse push the kids on the swing outside for a while, or taking them on a trip to a playground.
Alternatively, you might make head over to Starbucks for a few hours to focus on your work. Again, a cup of coffee or two probably won’t hurt.
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Plan Your Work
Having a plan for what you want to accomplish can be a huge productivity booster. A common problem that we all face is when we sit down to get some work done; we spend the first 15 minutes checking email and figuring out what to work on. If you have unlimited time, that’s fine. But, if you only have two hours to work before you have to pick up your child at school, wasting even 15 minutes can hurt since it really adds up over time.
Always Be Thinking
Dissertations are the type of all-consuming endeavor that can really take over your life. Even if you want to get your work off your mind, it can be really hard. The key is to try to channel this into something productive. Whether you’re rocking your infant or pushing your big kid in a stroller, you can use this time to plan your work and perhaps even think about how to structure your arguments. That way, when you sit down to write the words will just flow. At least that’s the hope.
That said, you do want to be present and living in the moment. If you’re pushing someone in a stroller, it’s fine to be thinking of something else, but if you’re playing Candyland, you probably want to focus and have fun.
While your dissertation will be a ton of work no matter what, I do hope these tips help. At the end of the day, this is more of a marathon than anything else. So, just keep going.