“Putting of for later” is an epidemic that every nation suffers from. And the major victims have always been students. The mad rush during the eleventh hour, and tearful phone calls to mom, is characteristic of all doctoral students, plowing through their dissertation. But to avoid sleepless nights, nail biting last moments and the anxiety of realizing that you might just miss the bus, start now.
Here is why you should take that first reluctant step
• Start reading up on your subject. Read in a critical and analytical way right at the outset, and keep a small note of stats and facts that support your theory.
• It is OK to ask for or hire help, but starting early can help you pick the best tools, prioritize, and most importantly throw in your own inputs and perspective.
• Have a routine. An hour day can keep dissertation blues at bay. Spend an hour reading, browsing, taking down notes or sitting on that abstract idea you were not very sure of.
• The best incentive of starting early is that you don’t have to spend every waking hour on your dissertation. Step out for a movie, take short breaks, and relax in the knowledge that you have enough time at your disposal.
• Record even if it is an impromptu chat regarding your topic. You never know when those audio recording scraps might come in handy.
• Have slice of life elements in your dissertation. Getting started early can help you scout for those interesting tidbits that can add a new dimension to your dissertation.
• Maintain a list of things to do and the joy that comes of ticking things off your bucket list, earlier than you expected can propel you forward without cappuccino coming got the rescue.
• You will have enough time to create backups, borrow books and shop for clothes that can impress your committee members.
• You reach the finish line, without the trauma of worrying about missed deadlines, misplaced tapes and sleepless nights.