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You must have a dedicated workspace. You may be married and have three kids, and space may be at a minimum, but you must have an area that is strictly your space. You don’t want have to pick up your work for dinner, worry about the baby getting into your papers, or any other possible situations that may occur when you are working in a shared space.
I swear by the giant calendar. I like one that is hung on the wall beside your desk. If it is on the desktop, it may get buried and covered under your papers, books, and computer. I color code different jobs such as interviews, workday, and writing time. Then work backwards to the very first day you start and write down every job you need to complete. You should make sure to incorporate some off days within the agenda for relaxation and refreshing of your mind and spirit.
Make sure you meet frequently with the faculty advisor. He or she should see you enough that he or she knows who you are, what you wish to accomplish, and what issues you may be experiencing. You should never miss scheduled meetings or ignore messages from the advisor.
Those who have been doing this for a while know that you should take care of your body and mind. You should eat properly, exercise, mediate, and relax as regular intervals. You have to be the strongest person you can be in order to do your best job on the most important academic piece you will ever write.
Those who want to work as much as possible with the minimum interruptions will try to do the research, interviews, quotes, case studies, surveys, and such at the front end. This will allow for minimal interruptions once you begin tow rite.
It is very rare that you can do 100% planning and pre-research, because as the piece unfolds, you will find the need for certain supports that you may not have. Additionally, If your topic is fluid, new sources and research may be occurring on a regular basis as you are composing.
The advisor is your go-to for all concerns, questions, and complications during the process. A candidate for a higher degree, who does not utilize all outlets of help, is not working smartly at all. Use your advisor and know your advisor.