Friday, October 30, 2009

Prioritize The Dissertation, Failing To

I mentioned to one of the other graduate students in my lab that I had achieved my goal of applying to 10 jobs this semester, and he was suitably impressed. Not at the number - like me, he has no idea how many job applications would be reasonable - but at the fact that I was applying for jobs and finishing my dissertation at the same time. He didn't think he could do it.

I'm not really doing it. Applying for jobs, yes; making progress on my dissertation, not so much. It's not the job applications that have delayed my dissertation progress, so much, although checking the various job posting sites has become my new means of "productive" procrastination. Teaching, and mentoring my undergraduate students, and just dealing with the daily influx of emails and small requests, are taking up all my time. Even telling myself that I would dedicate one day a week to working on the dissertation has not motivated me enough; there are always things with nearer deadlines, or straightforward end-of-week burnout.

In my defense, I have written drafts of the first four chapters - my introduction, and the first three experiments. I have also been kept busy with the design and data collection of my fourth experiment, so it's not as though I've done nothing. I've just done very, very little since the semester began. I had planned to have my introduction ready for my advisor's approval by the end of the semester; that's not likely to happen.

The good news is that our department colloquium lacked a speaker last week, so it became a q&a on dissertation requirements. The one member of my committee who was present advanced his opinions on length of the dissertation, explicitly stating a preference for an introduction appropriate for a journal article, and definitely not in the style of our huge comprehensive exam. I am relieved that my procrastination does not come at as huge a cost as I thought (I'm only 20 pages behind, not 50). I might even be motivated enough to turn to that introduction and start revising. Or I might be one of those people who only gets to writing within a month of the due date. At least my job applications get out several months in advance.

1 comment:

Management Dissertation said...

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