A dissertation is original writing that focuses on a specific topic. It’s a paper that may help you earn a Master’s degree or a PhD because it’s quite complex. Specifically, when you write a dissertation, you might need to do extensive research. Also, you might need to present previous study cases you’ve done through the years while showing the skills you learned.
So, writing a dissertation is time-consuming and stressful because it’s a crucial part of your final academic stage. Nonetheless, here are some ways to avoid stressing and potentially burning out while putting a dissertation together.
1. Organize well
Often, stress isn’t caused by the task itself but rather the timing, structure, and poor task management. To avoid that, you can organize yourself.
Start by setting a deadline for your dissertation, then insert it into your calendar. Then, break the task into smaller pieces, each with a due date. For example, you can divide your dissertation into three stages: research, writing, and revising. Next, you can separate each step into smaller tasks until you have a list of things to do each day.
The objective is to organize yourself, so you know precisely the steps to take to make progress without burning out. This way, you avoid the stress of asking yourself, “Where do I start?” or “What do I do now?”
Also, if you find yourself overbooked with projects, work, and dissertation writing, you can contact a tutor, dissertation service, or teacher to help you with revision or a second opinion.
2. Concentrate and set a timer
If you don’t want to waste hours and hours on a little paragraph, try to dedicate a specific time of your day to writing. So, if you’re a morning person and have time, try working early in the day.
In addition, your work area should inspire you and help you concentrate. For example, go to a library, or maybe you prefer sitting at your desk. Whatever you choose, it should motivate you to write and help you reduce distractions.
Also, you can set a timer for your tasks. For instance, you can set a timer for 20 minutes at the beginning of your session. If you’re brainstorming ideas and being productive, you’ll ignore the timer and continue your work.
Otherwise, if you’re staring at a blank paper, not knowing how to begin, the timer will tell you that it’s been 20 minutes. Take a break or start a different task when your phone rings.
This strategy prevents you from wasting time and stressing.
3. Take a break
You can use your timer for 45-minute intervals and 15-minute breaks. During these breaks, you can stretch, meditate, close your eyes, take a walk, or a nap.
You can also eat or drink something refreshing to help your brain. Nuts, cashews, and dried fruit are great snack options for brainpower, but you might want to get a full lunch. You can avoid a “food coma” or sleepiness by choosing a light lunch with a lot of vegetables and gluten-free carbs (rice, potatoes, corn).
If you take a nap, set a timer, so you don’t oversleep. Otherwise, a walk might refresh you and if you feel stressed, a 10-minute guided meditation might relax and inspire you.
4. Write freely
As mentioned by University College London, stress can come from stagnation. Staring at a blank paper, not knowing what to write while hearing the clock tick, isn’t soothing. But often, we might not have inspiration because we’re blocking our creativity.
Preconceived ideas about how your dissertation should sound might stop you from writing. Nonetheless, instead of limiting yourself, try free writing.
Free writing is giving your thoughts full expression on your paper. Whether you write a paragraph about how dissertations stress you or express your unfiltered opinions about your subject, you’re making progress.
As you’re writing freely, your thoughts rearrange in your brain. Ideas become defined and clear, and the links between them too.
5. Distract yourself a bit
If you’re always working or thinking about your thesis, you might stress yourself out of your mind and chase all creativity away. Instead, try distracting yourself and make room for other activities in your schedule.
Firstly, don’t neglect your social life. Call your loved ones, hang out with friends and connect to real life for a few hours. When you open a conversation, avoid bringing up your dissertation work.
You can also play sports, video games, or try new activities that help you relax and distract.
The best method to increase your productivity while dissolving stress is to have something to look forward to. For instance, you want to have dinner with your significant other and relax with them. This objective might get you more focused because it stimulates your reward system. It also helps to take breaks, set a timer for work, and free write.