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Meeting Your Own Deadlines

Strategies for self-structured workflow
April 9, 2015
By GradProSkills

a graduate student desk

When entering the dissertation stage of your graduate degree, it’s very likely you’ll experience a significant shift in your educational environment. No longer can you count on course-based work, short-term deadlines, and the support that comes with a classroom setting. Deadlines provide structure to your workflow and create accountability, so it’s easy to get stuck when you’re structuring your own time and tracking your own progress. Figuring out a self-guided working strategy that meets your needs - and your supervisor’s needs - can be quite tricky.

University of North Carolina’s ‘Dissertation Advice’ page gives practical advice on starting, drafting, and completing your dissertation, including time-management and productivity strategies specifically designed for each stage of the process.’s post ‘Writing Your Dissertation: Setting a Daily Dissertation Schedule’ recommends techniques like designating a dissertation buddy who you can report your progress every day, and harnessing your peak productivity hours. ‘The Habits of Highly Productive Writers’ post by The Chronicle’s Advice Column describe practices you can develop to get your writing done faster, like rejecting the notion of “writer’s block” and to read even more widely than you already do. TA-ing this term? From the same column, ‘Writing With A Heavy Teaching Load’ offers achievable, realistic pointers and anecdotal advice for people with your kind of schedule.

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