Yo-Yos and Dissertations
June 6th is National Yo-Yo Day. Does your dissertation have you on a yo-yo? Do you feel like your work is up and down? Here’s how to avoid having an erratic dissertation experience…
Do you yo?
Can you rock the cradle?
Walk the dog?
Shoot the moon?
Go around the world?
More importantly though, does your dissertation yo?
You’ve heard of yo-yo dieting, but what about yo-yo dissertationing? Yo-yo dieting describes when a person’s weight goes up and down, up and down, up and down—like a yo-yo.
Have you noticed a similar pattern with your dissertation writing? Do you spend a lot of time writing for a few days and make a lot of progress, only to fall behind almost immediately?
These yo-yo habits, whether related to dieting or dissertation writing have something in common: an overreliance on motivation.
But Dr. Strickland, I thought motivation was good! What’s wrong with relying on my motivation?
Here’s the thing: motivation is great for getting you started with something. You get all excited, you work for hours and hours, you get obsessed. The problem is, that motivation is emotional, and emotions are fickle. They don’t provide the consistency needed to be successful over the long term. For that you need something different: fundamental sound habits.
But don’t worry! You can easily use your motivation to establish habits rather than to stay up all night to power through a small section of your dissertation that you happen to be excited about right now. Completing your dissertation is a bit like establishing a healthy lifestyle – you need to make it part of your daily routine.
I advise my Fast Track Your Dissertation students to invest 10-15 each week on their dissertations. Ideally, you should invest 2-3 hrs/day, 5-6 days/wk on your dissertation.
You can’t just do this when you feel like it! You need to set aside specific times to work, and then stick to your schedule. If fact, some students schedule dissertation meetings on their calendars to reinforce their commitment.
Notice that you’re not sticking to your commitment? Find out why. What’s keeping you from putting in the time? Sometimes you really don’t know what to do with the time you’ve committed to investing on your dissertation. In those cases a coach can help! (Just sayin’.)
Does your dissertation feel more like a yo-yo than a steam roller? If so, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good candidate 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.