Well, we’re hitting the middle of August, which means your thoughts will soon be turning back towards academia- whether you’re going back to your doctoral program, or teaching, or if your children are returning to school. In this time of year, you can feel either very pleased with how much dissertation progress you’ve made, or you can feel confused, as in "Where did the whole summer go??" If you’re feeling the former- that’s fantastic. Keep doing what you’ve been doing! 🙂 But if you’re feeling the latter, well… let’s try and tease this apart. If you haven’t made as much dissertation progress as you planned, it usually means that your plans were either too ambitious (i.e. you planned to accomplish too much in the time you had available) or your working habits weren’t as disciplined as they needed to be. It’s tough to maintain a regular schedule of working when the weather is so nice, the pace is so slow, and the pool looks so inviting. Anyway, the important thing to remember is that all is not lost. You still have the chance to get back in gear and finish your dissertation. You need to plan for goals which are just right for the time you have, and you need to be disciplined about accomplishing what you say you will. It sounds simple, yes, but it’s not necessarily easy. Too many ABD’s get caught in a cycle of drama- overavoidance and overworking followed by overavoidance. As I’ve said many times (and will probably say many more….) slow and steady wins the race. So as you gear up for another academic year, plan how you can show up and do the work, each day, making progress steadily.