Finish your dissertation in two awesome hours | Issue 191

"How did it get so late so soon?" ~ Dr. Seuss

 

 

Overwhelmed? Forget about working faster or smarter—do this. (1) Stop whenever you finish one task. (2) Pause. (3) Choose with intention your next action by asking, "What would be the best use of my time now?"

 

Through this kind of mindful decision-making, you can avoid the perils of autopilot while discovering your two peak hours for mental work each day. Devote these "awesome hours" to your most important projects, e.g., your dissertation instead of managing email, and save easy stuff for the off-peak hours. Also, opt for clutter-free desk, lighter meals, and less caffeine, says Josh Davis, Ph.D., author of Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done. As the NeuroLeadship Institute's research director, Davis buttresses each recommendation with plenty of brain science. Consider it required reading for your less awesome hour and end the perennial end-of-day whine, "Where did today go?"

 

 

ON THE INTERVIEW CIRCUIT? STOP BEING TOO HUMBLE AND NICE

 

"I'm such a perfectionist that I drive myself crazy." That's called "humble-bragging." For years we've been advised to adopt this strategy when interviewers probe for our greatest weakness. But reframing weakness as strength can backfire, says Harvard business professor Francesca Gino, Ph.D., in a recent HBR blogpost. Her research shows that others often find it insincere—they prefer honesty. Ditto for catering to others in such situations—people want you to be yourself.

 

Authenticity has its advocates, it seems.

 

 

OVER 21 MILLION ACADEMIC NERDS CAN'T BE WRONG

 

Expand your online research presence—plus find not-yet-published research.

 

Sign up for free at academia.edu and upload your academic work, published or not. Locate updates in your field long before the associated journal articles emerge. Jokingly called "Facebook for nerds," the site has over 21 million users who share papers, monitor their impact, and follow research in particular areas. Uploaded papers received an 83% boost in citations, claim site owners.

 

 

SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LAUGH

 

Popular recent tweets from Grad School Elitist:

 

"Ask your doctor if academia is right for you. Side effects include: anxiety, depression, fatigue, and severe stress"

 

"Grad school is like the Hunger Games: you are told how privileged you are to be there yet you can't remember why you volunteered as tribute"

 

"When life gives you lemons, add tequila"

 

"Blood type: coffee."

 

 

CREATE CITATIONS IN A FLASH-AND GET CROWD-SOURCED REFERENCES

 

"I couldn't survive without Mendeley," an ABD coaching client recently told me [Gayle], reminding me that although I had registered, I had never really tried this award-winning citation management program (near cousin of EndNote and Zotero). I rushed to www.mendeley.com, and in seconds imported research pdfs. . . which in turn were instantaneously formatted into my APA 6th edition style (one of many options). Another cool feature: Links pop up to similar articles previously uploaded by other users, giving instant access to highly relevant material. Reviewers say that most students can easily get by with the space limits of the "freemium" version. If you are a heavy writer, go premium and consider getting Mendeley: Crowd-sourced reference and citation management in the information era, by Jacques Raubenheimer, for incredibly thorough documentation (in teeny tiny print, however).

 

 

VOTE TODAY: WHAT DO YOU NEED TO FINISH?

 

What's getting in your way of finishing?

 

Each summer, the ABD Survival Guide and coaches from the prestigious MentorCoach training program bring you valuable free teleseminars to help you on your coaching journey.

 

Let us know your burning issues and questions so we can tailor our free programs to your needs. Take the two-minute survey here.

 

Got a tip, link, or laugh to share with ABDs?

 

Email suggestions to editor@abdsurvivalguide.com We'll publish the best contributions with attribution.

 

 

About the Authors

 

BEN DEAN, Publisher, ABDSG
Ben holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He began writing the ABDSG in 1997. Over the years, the ABDSG has published hundreds of articles and provided thousands of hours of pro bono coaching and teleworkshops to ABDs all over the world. Ben is also the founder of MentorCoach (www.MentorCoach.com), a virtual university focused on training accomplished professionals to become part-time or full-time coaches. You may wish to subscribe to the Coaching Toward Happiness eNewsletter! It's on applying the science of Positive Psychology to your work and life (131,000 readers). Ben lives in suburban Maryland with his wife, Janice, their two children, and Dusty, their Norwegian dwarf bunny.

 

GAYLE SCROGGS, Ph.D., P.C.C., Editor, ABDSG. 
Dr. Scroggs is an executive, life and dissertation coach in the greater Chesapeake Bay area. She has helped hundreds of students and clients overcome procrastination, self-doubts, and other internal and external blocks in order to find the motivation and flow necessary to reach their academic, professional, and personal goals. Contact Dr. Scroggs with questions about this newsletter or about coaching in general at gayle@essencecoaching.com. Enjoy additional free resources at www.essencecoaching.com.