Ready, set, write

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Going through writer’s block? Here are some of the key things I go back to when I need a writing reset.

The most important thing to remember: most of the time you have to write even when you aren’t ‘ready’ to!

Sprint versus jog – They say, perfection is the biggest barrier to progress. Sometimes you have to write even when your surroundings aren’t ideal (procrastination comes in many forms). For Ph.D. students especially, we have to remember to pace ourselves and differentiate between when to jog and when to sprint. Sprinting might mean just letting your thoughts freely flow onto the page for an hour before you shift to a jog where your pace is slower and you start editing your work.

Dragon time – Find out when you’re most productive, most efficient and most in the zone. My dragon time is before dawn after I’ve had a night’s sleep and my mind is fresh. This very early time in the morning is protected from any distractions – emails, news, and notifications.

Iterations – Remind yourself that drafting is not editing. Separate those two tasks so that you’re able to draft and generate new ideas without judgment. Schedule drafting time during your dragon time and leave editing for when you’re feeling a bit less productive. For example, my dragon time is before dawn when everyone’s asleep and this is when I create and focus on deep thinking work and analysis. I leave editing for later in the day. Any Ph.D. ‘admin’ work gets done at night or when I cannot bear to read drafts.

What are your writing tips? If you want to read more on study tips in general, head over to Wellbeing Hub.

Tagged in What messes with your head, phd, writing, Productivity, procrastination