Overcoming a Time Crunch
Being pressed for time will likely happen, especially if you are holding down a part-time job during your doctoral studies. The pressure to finish is greatest during the last year of your PhD and this is usually the time when conflicts and tensions arise. There are tips that can help you finish your PhD on time, even when you’re pressed for it.
Key Tasks for Finishing Your PhD on Time
Finishing your PhD thesis on time is not as daunting as it sounds. Although many students will be pressed for time, completing your study is possible with a little ingenuity from your part.
- First, ensure that you meet all the PhD requirements set by your institution. Never presume anything without double-checking with your institution and your supervisor. This can save you from a lot of wasted time and stress.
- Keep a good perspective. Your peers are unlikely to read your thesis, but they are likely to read journals and articles resulting from it.
- Contrary to what most people say, your introduction should be written last. Breaking your thesis into defined stages is important for success. On that same note, your conclusion also should be written last.
- Get familiar with project management applications, such as Trello.
- Buy your own laser printer. This will save you from having to rush elsewhere to have your drafts printed. It will save you time and money as well.
- Get feedback on the entire thesis—from start to finish. Getting feedback for individual chapters is fine, but you should aim to get feedback on the entire work.
- “Begin with the end in mind.” Make sure you know when your doctoral studies are supposed to end, and when your work will be considered as done.
Planning and Writing Your Thesis
Breaking down your tasks into manageable blocks is one way to ensure that you actually finish the entire thing. There are plenty of techniques to help you along the way, such as the 25-minute Pomodoro for academic writing. Undoubtedly, writing your thesis is at least as hard as performing the actual study, but it is never impossible. With the right tools at your disposal and a positive mindset, you can finish your PhD on time. Below is a checklist of things that you need to do to get to graduation day.
- Draft your proposal and research design
- Acquire IRB consent
- Pilot study
- Gather data and information for your study
- Analyze your data
- Write, write, and write some more. Ideally, aim to write for a minimum of 30 minutes a day
- Defend your thesis