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8 Tips To Help Complete Your Dissertations Quickly

8 Tips To Help Complete Your Dissertations Quickly

Your dissertation is a critical component of your educational experience. Not only will it help cement what you already know, but it will also help you think about your selected topic in a way you haven’t before. Completing your dissertation does not have to be a stressful event. In fact, it can be a fantastic opportunity to delve deeper into an area of interest.
Before you begin the writing process, consider these tips to help you succeed.

1. Outline Your Thoughts

Creating an outline can make a daunting task, such as writing your dissertation, seem much simpler. It serves as a way to organise your thoughts and divides a larger concept into smaller, more manageable subtopics.
Initially, your outline can be basic. Start by identifying topics and a few main points you are going to cover, and use this as a starting point. As you progress, you can always adjust and expand on your outline, allowing it to become a more thorough representation of the contents of your writing. As you finalise your ideas, your outline will likely begin to resemble a table of contents from a textbook instead of the general framework it initially represented.

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2. Find Your Key Sources

Research is a major component of any dissertation. Before you even consider beginning the writing process, use your outline as a guide to the kinds of sources your work will require. If your outline contained three main points for exploration, find one reliable reference for each area. While these will likely not be the only sources you will refer to during the writing process; it provides a sound basis for your dissertation as a whole.

3. Work Small

As you begin to develop subtopics for your dissertation, try working small. This means choosing an individual point, subtopic, or idea and concentrating on only that portion of the paper. Not only can this help provide you with an area of focus, but it can also make the task at hand feel less cumbersome.

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4. Schedule Your Time

A dissertation is not something that can be left to chance. With that in mind, it is wise to plan the time you intend to dedicate to it. Treat it just as you would a job or class. When the assigned time arrives, go to your study area and give all of your focus to your work. Once the scheduled amount of time has passed, feel free to step away from your work until your next scheduled appointment.

5. Work in Bursts

Just because you are planning your time, that does not mean you have to work for four hours straight. Instead, schedule the time in smaller blocks when appropriate. Consider dedicating 30 minutes to work on one critical area, one subtopic, or one part of the concept. Set a 30-minute timer when you begin working, and focus on that area until the timer signals that the time has passed.

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By examining your dissertation in 30-minute blocks, you will learn to select tasks that can be reasonably completed in that amount of time. It simplifies the process by supporting the concept of working small, and can help you expand your outline into refined, individual points.

6. Don’t Be a Slave to the Order

While remaining organised is critical, that does not mean you have to start writing at the beginning and work straight through to the end of your paper. Instead, don’t be afraid to shift throughout the entirety of the work as you move from one study block to the next. If you feel particularly inspired by a point in the middle, then feel free to work on that section. Allowing your motivation to guide your topic selection for each writing session as you will likely produce higher quality work along the way.

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7. Consult with Others

Just because it is your dissertation does not mean you cannot reach out for help if you are stuck. Consult with experts in the field you are covering, including any current or former instructors, or other authorities on the subject. Consider reviewing information with your fellow students to see how someone with a less specific knowledge base perceives your work. If you are truly at a loss, dissertation writing services can help in a variety of ways, including to help structure your paper, finalise your topics and subtopics, and even guide you through the writing process.

8. Avoid Perfection

While it seems counterintuitive, fighting for perfection may result in more stress, which may ultimately hurt your final work. Instead, focus on producing high-quality work, but allow yourself room for simple errors. If you are working in small bursts, don’t force yourself to keep going past the allotted time because you don’t feel a particular section is perfect. Allow yourself to walk away, and then come back to it later with fresh eyes. You may find that your work was actually pretty close to perfect as it was, or the necessary changes may become easier to identify.

Writing your dissertation does not have to be an overwhelming experience. By considering the points above, scheduling your time, and putting a focus on organisation, you may find the experience to be enlightening, and even enjoyable. Treat this as an opportunity, and you may be surprised how well it comes out.

Featured photo credit: https://www.inverse.com via inverse.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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