I stumbled across a couple of really good articles this week that I wanted to share.  They are mostly focused on grad students and academics, although I can see others who they might apply to. 

  1. The 29 steps to writing a dissertation.  The first step to finishing anything is breaking it down into managable parts, and this article does that for the dissertation.  I have to admit, reading it made me hopeful that I could finish some day, particularly because it had a guideline for hours as well as for steps.  I doubt the hours will work out exactly, but proportionally it makes sense.  More importantly the article breaks up the process into chunks that can more easily function as projects in GTD. 
  2. The 12 steps to becoming a more prolific scholar.  Interestingly enough, the ideas are complementary.  It starts with Step 1, write 15-30 minutes per day, EVERY day, and Step 2 to share your daily writing records with others.  These strike me as critical, since writing is a skill, not a gift, and one must practice to get better.  Much like other types of habit-building, accountability can be the difference between success and failure.  So sharing the record of whether you wrote each day and for how long can be truly helpful.

To help myself get into writing more, I created a form using google docs and a spreadsheet that will allow me to enter my time daily.  I then shared it with my writing group and forwarded it to them.  Maybe if I can get them doing this it will help us all, but regardless it will help ME keep moving forward.  If you are interested in trying this tool or joining an informal accountability group for writing, let me know and we can put something together!

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