ideas to jump start one’s studies

For a rainy day, this is a note to myself, and in case others might need fresh ideas to jump start one’s studies… I have listed things that help me to build momentum in my academic work. This list also works for sermon preparations. 

Please share your study habits that work well for you!

This list is what works well FOR ME. But might be helpful to others…

Study tips for reading and writing
* exercise regularly
* eat healthy all the time!
* mood regulation – whatever you need, for me, this means no drinking 
* sleep regular hours
* meditation – to help you focus and “declutter” your mind
* journal
* study at same time, same place – build a habit of studying
* start study time with prayer!
* take notes and highlight along the way while reading – quotes are helpful, but summaries are better if planning on writing paper later. 
* make notecards of important chapters or book
* start writing paper with notes, summaries of readings (blank screen paralyzes me so I just put something down on the page!) 
* create and maintain support of friends who cheer you on and friends you can cheer on in some way
* close web browser, and keep closing it!
* Pomodoro app – 25 min study, 5 min break (sometimes this helps me to keep studying, sometimes I use it to make sure I take breaks!)
* take breaks!
* celebrate accomplishments!

How to get out of a prospectus-dissertation-writing funk

I got some great advice about how to get out of a Prospectus-Dissertation-writing-funk/rut.
– Do something everyday that pertains to the Dissertation, optimally at the same block of time.
– Tackle easiest task first to get back into things.
– If not able to write, then read something pertaining to dissertation to stay connected to topic of Dissertation. The reading could motivate or inspire you to get back to writing your Dissertation.

PhD – I think I can do this!

Written when I was – Currently working on revising Prospectus. Framing things in terms of things I already accomplished is helpful, When I was preparing to take a 6 hr comprehensive exam, I approached it like preparing to teach two 3 hr classes! So, writing and revising a prospectus is like working on the Comprehensive Exam proposals. And each chapter of the Dissertation is more or less like a paper and also like a comp exam. My goal was to prepare 6 weeks for each comprehensive exam. So if I approach writing each chapter of my dissertation like preparing and taking a comprehensive exam, I think I can do this!

Dissertation committee insight

Don’t choose a “safe” dissertation committee. Choose committee members who see and believe in the potential of your work! Never knew how important working with dissertation committee members are to stretching your own creativity and vision! So thankful.

advice & tips on prospectus defense preparation:

I wrote this up for a friend who is defending his prospectus soon. So sharing it here. This is what I did or how I would prepare if I were doing it again…

I jotted down reflections to the following questions in my journal.

Be prepared to say –

  1. if/as you feel important, give very brief description of the way you came to your topic,
  2. why your topic or question is important to address
  3. how the way you intend to answer questions is valuable and necessary, i.e., your contribution is unique and that it is necessary for the discipline.

 

ABD – all but dissertation

Yes, I am officially ABD (all but dissertation)!  So this means I have fulfilled all the requirement for Ph.D. degree except for writing and defending the dissertation!  To get here, I completed course work, took comprehensive exams, wrote and defended a prospectus (proposal for dissertation), and got my prospectus officially approved!  ABD are the best three letters for a doctorate student, second to PhD!  Yay!