Coming back to work

Some important facts:

  1. The data for my dissertation have been collected.
  2. My son (pictured above) is now 5 1/2 months, takes regular naps, and sometimes sleeps through the night.

My conclusions based on the above facts:

  1. I need to devote time to analyzing my dissertation data.
  2. I have time to devote to analyzing my dissertation data.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been half-heartedly trying to re-dedicate myself to the work of being a PhD student.  It’s been tough-going as half-heartedness and dedication are antagonistic concepts.  (Besides, my whole heart is already devoted to the pint-sized person pictured above.  He really is a sweet baby.)  Still, I’ve recently decided that finishing my dissertation and being a good mother are not mutually exclusive goals.  I just need to manage time differently than I have in the past.

To help myself reach my dissertation goals, I mapped out deadlines for the completion of important dissertation steps and placed them on my Calendar.   I brainstormed a list of all of the required tasks and sub-tasks related to my dissertation, and I decided that I will devote two hours each weekday to dissertation tasks and will read and outline at least one article daily. Each Saturday I will summarize my progress in a blog post, to try to hold myself accountable for meeting my goals.  As a reward for meeting my process goals, I will earn time that I can spend on my hobbies once my son is in bed for the night.  When I complete tasks from my to do list, I will “earn” a small financial reward (really, give myself permission to spend money previously earned).  The rewards for this upcoming week–knitting time and the registration fee for an event in which I want to participate.

Check back next week to see how the plan is working.

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About Kimberly McCollum

I'm a former middle and high school science teacher and current stay at home mom.
This entry was posted in about me, Dissertation, Graduate Work and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Coming back to work

  1. Rachel says:

    This is so typically you, Kimberly, and having seen you work three jobs while in grad school, I’m sure you can figure out how to set aside a couple hours a day.

    Your baby looks SO cute! That is such a cute age for babies.

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