Surviving the PhD thesis 10 rules to follow

First advice: don't panic!

Those people who plan to write a PhD thesis, usually tend to severely worry about what is standing ahead and begin to panic. This is never a good idea, worries will not get you far, only make you hate your thesis even before you get to start it. The main tip is: calm down and collect your thoughts. This is not the end of the world yet and you will definitely get through it! To keep you spirit up and help you on this hard way, here are a couple tips for you.

  1. Keep contact with your supervisor. It is the person who already went through this and will help you to follow. Make sure to have regular meetings established. It will help you to evaluate and avoid numerous possible mistakes.
  2. Arrange paperwork. A lot of universities require specific forms documents handed in way before submitting the thesis. Don't let the formalities prevent you from successfully finishing your work.
  3. Set goals. For sure you have heard this advice a lot of times, but for this time actually try it, if you haven't before. Successful goal-setting will keep you on track and will not let you procrastinate or leave everything for later.
  4. Use programs that save your time and effort. Modern technologies can take over a lot of work from your shoulder, at least in referencing, formatting and adding foot-/end-notes. Research Endnote or Mendeley and wonder!
  5. Learn to use previous experiences. Can you even imagine, how many people have already completed their thesis? Their work may teach you a lot.
  6. Paper and pen before screen and keyboard. Order your ideas and thoughts in written form – you will always have your notes before you and will avoid confusing.
  7. Afford yourself short breaks. Our brain can stay fully active for only 25 minutes. Making 5-minutes breaks after every 25 minutes of work will highly raise the productivity.
  8. Never leave a part of work not finished. Make sure to finish the section you started today. It is usually hard to remember the thought you were following the next day and easy to get lost.
  9. Don't try to get it perfect from the first draft. It is natural to make mistakes. Don't stop on a small fragment for a long time, leave it for later.
  10. Track your progress. Invent a way for yourself to keep track of how much you have already accomplished and what is ahead.

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