Dirty Dishes and Dissertations

May 18th is National No Dirty Dishes Day! Chances are, your dissertation kitchen is full of dirty dishes. You wash, I’ll dry!…

What do dirty dishes and dissertation revisions have in common?  People love to put them off rather than just do them and get it get out of the way. To celebrate National No Dirty Dishes Day, let’s talk about why it’s better to just get those dirty dishes (and your dissertation revisions!) done.

Ugh! – dirty dishes. For some, it’s a chore they’ll avoid at all cost! But, if you put it off, it only gets worse and worse!

My assistant tells a story about a dirty dishes stand-off she had with her husband shortly after they got married. Apparently, it finally ended over a week later in a long evening with the help of elbow-length rubber gloves and a respirator! I’m not sure about that last part, but that’s her story, and she’s sticking with it.

Dissertation revisions can be like dirty dishes. They’re an annoying chore, and many times when you submit revisions all you get in return are requests for more revisions! But, the longer you let them sit, the harder it is to tackle them because you lose momentum. And worse, there’s no one to help you! I mean, uou probably aren’t going to be able to give your kids a couple of extra dollars for their allowance to have them knock out your dissertation revisions!

Here are a few recommendations for dealing with revisions:

  • Be prepared for revisions. You are going to have to make revisions. I’ve never met a reviewer yet that didn’t have some sort of suggestions for making whatever they were reviewing better. That’s just what reviewers do! Since it’s your dissertation committee’s job to review your work, they’re going to have revision requests. Sorry. That’s just the way it is. Get used to it.
  • Make your revisions quickly. Be ready to pounce. The quicker you get them done, the less time you’ll have to stew over them and over think things. Just make the changes they asked for with a big smile on your face and send it back right away. The longer your committee’s feedback sits there, the more you’ll grow to dread the task. Just like festering dirty dishes!
  • Be ready to revise again. And again. You (should) do the dishes every night! This is just like that. If you are mentally prepared for your committee to send revision requests on every draft, think how happy you’ll be when your dissertation is accepted! It’ll be like never having to do the dishes again! It’s normal to have back and forth. Embrace it and expect it and you’ll be a much happier camper.
  • Get help. Ever have your committee send over a round of feedback, and you simply don’t understand what they want? Does it seem like whatever you do, they’re just going to send the same comments back? If so, an experienced set of eyes can help. Obviously, that’s part of what we do for our students at Dissertation Done, but you may have friends, colleagues, or family who’ve successfully completed their own dissertations. Find someone to translate your committee’s comments so that you can develop a revision strategy to address all of their concerns.

Do you have trouble getting organized when it’s time to wash the dissertation dishes?

Does it seem like there are more and more dishes to wash every time you eat?

If so, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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