If there’s one trait common to most students, it’s procrastination. Ever experienced having to put off a task until it’s close to the deadline? If you are this kind of student, then expect dissertation to a difficult task. A critical component in writing a great dissertation is staying motivated.
Here are some tips to help keep your motivation:
If you have been tasked to write a dissertation, it’s important to realize that it cannot be done in just one day. Dissertation, unlike your regular academic essays, requires careful consideration. It involves a tedious process of researching, draft writing, re-writing, editing, formatting, and proofreading. It is a cyclical, repetitive process that must be done continuously until you’re happy with it.
Plan your dissertation properly before you even start writing. With the help with coursework of your adviser, you can come up with a schedule and break down the entire writing process with each step easier for you to accomplish. Follow your schedule properly and you would find it easier to stay motivated and complete the writing task.
Dealing with writer’s block
Sometimes you’ll find yourself unable to think of words or simply lost the flow – it’s called a writer’s block. And it’s the last thing you’d ever want especially when there is a deadline looming. No matter how long you stare at your computer, you’ll feel like you’ve frozen and can’t find inspiration. Deal with these frustrating instances by:
- Review a previous chapter – if you’re stuck on your current chapter, go back to the previous chapters and make necessary edits. By going back to previous chapters, you can regain your focus and hopefully continue with the rest of the dissertation.
- Re-read a useful source – when writing a dissertation, you’d need to have sources (such as journal). Read through them and find inspiration from them. Scholarly sources can greatly help bring back your motivation.
- Find new sources – discover fresh ideas and insights by reading new sources.
- Continue writing – you can write on a piece of paper or a draft word document, but just don’t stop writing. While these notes may never get into your dissertation, writing can help de-clutter your mind.
A lot of students feel burnt out because of working all day on their dissertation. While you may be running out of time, you should not compromise your health and well-being. Take regular breaks from reading and writing to keep your energy high.
But this doesn’t mean you can go into an out-of-the-country vacation. A few hours away from your dissertation are enough, perhaps, watching a movie, going out to a dinner, or brisk walking at the park.
Reward yourself for milestones achieved
Keep your motivation high by occasionally rewarding yourself for a job well done. Positive reinforcements can keep your eagerness. Rewards don’t need to be grand or huge; any little treat can be equally powerful in keeping your spirits up.
You deserve a treat for completing a chapter within your deadline. Reward yourself with simple treats such as going to the cinema or dining at your favorite restaurant. These positive reinforcements will definitely help you maintain your motivation.
Know when to ask for help
A dissertation tutor is there to guide you through the entire process. They’ve been in the same situation and have helped other students. Writing dissertations can be mentally exhausting and you might find yourself pleading for help.
Always remember that you’re not alone on this project. Most students struggle throughout their dissertation writing, and it’s never shameful to ask for other’s help especially if it will be for your benefit. Talk with your dissertation tutor and discuss your problems. Your tutor can certainly help you towards producing a great dissertation.
Look after yourself
Although getting a good grade is a priority, you should not neglect your health and wellbeing. Writing dissertation will require much of your time. In fact, missing out on exercise, healthy meals, and adequate rest can be hurtful to your grades more than helpful.
Don’t deprive yourself of adequate rest and sleep. If possible, get as much as eight hours of sleep per night. It will help ensure the quality of your dissertation. At least one hour before bedtime, shut down your computer, stop working, and relax. Follow your bedtime routine and sleeping pattern. Some would drink warm milk or read a book. Others take warm shower or bath or listen to a relaxing music. Do not delay your sleeping pattern. If you go to bed at a certain time in the night, stick to it.
If you feel tensed and find difficulty sleeping or relaxing, you may want to perform deep breathing exercises or do some gentle yoga poses. These calming activities can help your mind relax and detach from all worries. It is also very important to follow a healthy diet. If possible, avoid too much-processed foods as they are bad for your health. Go for healthier alternatives especially home-made vegetable dishes.