Solitude and Dissertations
March 26th is Solitude Day. Solitude can be a double-edged sword for dissertation students. Some feel they have too little, some feel they have too much. And, students even feel both! Which are you?…
Many people enjoy spending time alone. Superman had his Fortress of Solitude where he would go to think and recharge. And he’s not alone in that. Most people find that solitude is essential for tasks that require concentration, like writing dissertations!
I require my students to work diligently on their dissertations for just 10-15 hours a week in a distraction-free environment. But, even this relatively small time commitment can pose a challenge when you throw a full-time job, friends, family, church, and other priorities into the mix.
If you’re struggling to get your dissertation done, you may need to take a hard look at what’s happening when you’re supposed to be working. Are you being frequently interrupted by phone calls or children walking into the room? If so, you may be putting in the time required, but your concentration is being disrupted, making that time less effective.
Think about how you might rearrange your day to find some solitude so that you can work uninterrupted. If you still have children living in your home, perhaps you can block out 9-11pm or even 4-6am every day as “dissertation time.” Just hide out in a quiet room somewhere. That way, while your children (hopefully) sleep, you can knock out your dissertation.
Miss a day? That’s OK. Just get right back on the solitude wagon the next day, and get your dissertation done!
But then, there’s the other end of the spectrum. Some students feel like they’re just too alone as they struggle through the dissertation process.
Without a campus community their to support them, they rely on their dissertation chairs to provide guidance and support. Unfortunately, most students find their chairs to be sorely lacking in this department. Many find it difficult to get an email response in a reasonable period of time. And, a conversation on the phone or in person? Forget about it!
If you find yourself in this predicament, you should work to build out your support network. Family and friends can provide emotional support, but without the context of truly understanding what you’re going through in the dissertation process, even that can fall flat.
Who do you know who already has their doctorate?
Who do you know who’s going through their own dissertation journey right now?
Reach out to as many people as you can until your find a small group with which you “click.”
And, if you’re having trouble finding a support network to guide you through the dissertation journey, I’m happy to offer our support. Click hereto 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.