Step 5: "Pilot test" your work plan.
- Set a specific amount of time (say 2 weeks or a month) to stick to your plan and then re-evaluate and revise it
- Perhaps once a semester, revise your work plan, using what you have learned about yourself from executing the previous plans
Step 6: Create systems that work for you.
- Create consistent systems of taking notes on what you’ve read, keeping track of drafts and revisions, formatting your dissertation, documenting sources
- Consider using documentation software, such as Endnote and RefWorks
Step 7: Expect and accept occasional setbacks and delays.
- Build extra time into your work plan to accommodate the unexpected: taking a trip to access new resources, replacing a committee member, recovering from an illness, etc
- Revise your work plan as necessary, with the goal of getting going again
Step 8: Reward yourself for meeting goals and forgive your lapses.
- Remember the goal of your work plan is to move you forward inch-by-inch toward the completion of your dissertation
- Let past lapses or failures go, and focus on what you can do today and tomorrow to reach your goals