When you’ve been working on the dissertation for a certain amount of time, or when you’ve completed a major section; such as the proposal, or even just a chapter, it’s important to create structures where you actually go back in to your working space, and you create a new kind of organization.

Now, you may have heard me say before that it’s a good way to mark the end of a chapter by actually wrapping up all of the materials and filing them away. That is definitely an important step in the process. The other aspect of that though, is that when you have moved on to a new kind of dissertation work; such as when you are inputting data for analyses or when you are working on the results section or creating tables, you may also need to reorganize your working space and your working style.

What that means is, when you are looking to reorganize your working space; let’s say for example, you are writing a chapter of the dissertation, your working space may just look something like having your computer set up, a good table lamp, a good chair, and perhaps some space to read from a book, or a quote from a source. However, when you are actually constructing the pathway through your results, your working space may look something different. For example, you may need just a large flat surface where can put out pieces of paper and map your way to your findings. Similarly, when writing the discussion, you may need some kind of hybrid of those two models.

So, it is a good idea when you are working in a new section of the dissertation, whether it be the results section or a discussion section, to actually just take a minute and look at your workspace and how you might need to adjust your working style. In doing this, you’ll find it easier to make progress on the sections that you need to make progress on, and you will be able to be more adaptive and creative in how you use your existing workspace to promote your goal of finishing the dissertation.