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Never Hurry Up with Your Thesis Writing

Your thesis is likely to be one of the most important pieces of writing you’ll ever complete, and it’s important not to rush it. Most students understand this concept but implement it poorly. That’s because they are focused on getting everything perfect, and end up taking too long in the beginning stages of their thesis—which results in having to rush during the most vital part: the writing. Here’s how to avoid that.

Create an Overall Timeline

The point of the timeline is not to stick to it entirely, but simply to give you a global overview of the project so that you have some idea of where you are in terms of time at each point. This will help keep you focused and on track so that you don’t find yourself panicking and pulling all nighters for a month before the final project is due.

Create a Weekly Schedule

Each week, create a set of small goals to complete. These should be very small, and very well defined goals, like “spend 3 hours researching in the library,” “spend one hour creating an outline and researching for the literature review,” “spend 45 minutes writing section one.”

Use a Timer

When deep into writing or research, use a timer. Whether it’s a kitchen timer, a stop watch, or a timer on your tablet or smart phone, this frees you from checking the clock. Simply work until the timer goes off without obsessing over the time.

Take Breaks

Every hour, schedule a ten to fifteen minute break. During your break, don’t just sit and browse the internet. Get up, walk around, go outside, fix a snack or a cup of coffee. Get a breath of fresh air. Doing so allows your brain to rest from reading and studying, and you’ll return to your work refreshed.

Write in Short Sessions

You’ll want to schedule many, many short writing sessions instead of several very long ones. Your writing will be of much higher quality as a result, and you’ll find you think more clearly about the structure and organization of your paper if you approach each session with full attention for 30-45 minutes. Marathon writing rarely turns out as well. Writing also tends to be a better activity for the morning hours. Schedule a session or two before lunch, and if you also write well in the afternoon, schedule a session after lunch as well. Try to begin the writing process early so that you don’t find yourself writing all night.