Some important facts:
- The data for my dissertation have been collected.
- 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:
- I need to devote time to analyzing my dissertation data.
- 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.