Tonight’s tip is about staying organized and staying motivated.
So, I’ve got three full chapters of the dissertation proposal going (90+ pages strong!), and believe me, each of these chapters has gone through quite the revision process. With each new revision, I have been saving the file with the date of the revision. Not only does this (1) keep things organized in case I need to go back to an older draft, BUT it also (2) allows me to see JUST HOW FAR I’VE COME ALONG. When I start to feel as though there is still so much to do and that it’s going to take me more time than I have, I go back and pull out a previous draft and scan it. This allows me to see the progress I’ve made since the last revision, and usually, the progress was pretty significant in a lot less time than I am imagining it will take to get to the next version.
In summary, SAVE ALL YOUR VERSIONS AND LABEL THEM WITH DATES! Then revisit the drafts when you feel as though the task is too daunting…seeing how far you’ve come will hopefully motivate you as it consistently motivates me! My first version of my literature review was a sad, sad thing. And now, it’s AMAZING (at least I’d like to think it is) and it took me only a few weeks (with the thoughtful feedback of my advisor) to get it there!