I worked a grand total of 9 hours and 25 minutes on my dissertation this week. That is over the course of a full seven days, just to put into perspective how little time I am actually putting in. And, that includes reading time, which is probably 2 hours or so in all. And, this is not a bad week. I consider 9 and a half hours to be pretty good. My main goal is keep the quality high with disregard to quantity (if I am working on my dissertation, just work on my dissertation, and make sure that every time I sit down I am very clear on what I am trying to work on, and not worry about how long I have … 18 minutes of solid writing or reading is not negligible) and keeping very consistent in protecting blocks—even small blocks—of dissertation time seven days a week. If I keep these two things in mind, the momentum tends to build. I am trying to avoid any major stoppages from this point on—this means not letting visitors or Josh leaving town completely interrupt the flow and working at least a bit through Thanksgiving. Christmas will probably require a halt, but I want to keep it to under a week.
I got 2 committee members and my adviser up to date.
I revised my chapter abstracts.
I got to a place where I can envision revising chapter 3.
I expanded chapter 4, probably another 1500 words or so.
I did some secondary reading in the evening hours—something I have tended to avoid because, though it is a nice time to read, reading dissertation or teaching related stuff tends to get me stressed out too close to bedtime. But it is working ok for now.
I worked 27 minutes on a Saturday, something else I never do, and it kept my head in the game enough that I feel like Sunday was more productive than usual.
An important faculty person came out of the woodwork out of the blue offering to read my dissertation.
I like to have a lot of pots going at once. Like, writing one chapter, revising something else, doing secondary reading for some other part. Incremental progress on multiple fronts. So I never get stuck. If I was *just* working on chapter 4, beating myself up about getting it done, I would hit a wall at some point and get stressed out and more stuck. When I meet any resistance, I back off, do something else, and come back later when I am fresh or something about the problem has percolated enough that it doesn’t seem so daunting. Just keep moving forward, it doesn’t matter where. I’m sure other people need a much more linear method of attack, but its working for me.