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10 Strategies for Improving Writing Productivity

  1. Plan ahead so that you can defend your research during the semester of your choice. Then, create a checklist with targeted dates for completion. The closer you move toward commencement deadlines, the more motivated you will become to write. 
  2. Being mindful of “active procrastination” (justifying how else you are spending your time.) You will have to say no to some extracurricular activities in order to stay on task!
  3. Know what time of day you work best. Set aside that time every day to write.
  4. Talk to your family &  friends about the need to protect your writing time. Set limits. Stick to them.
  5. Start or join a writing accountability group. It's a safe space to talk frankly with your colleagues about your challenges and accomplishments.
  6. Communicate regularly with your dissertation adviser. One more level of accountability never hurts.
  7. Peruse writer's handbooks in the library or bookstore. If one resonates with you, buy it. Follow the strategy/advice and don't cheat!
  8. Write away from home or the office. Attend a writing "boot camp" or writer's retreat.
  9. Record and celebrate your writing accomplishments. Then get back to work!
  10. Stop being such a perfectionist!  It's OK to show others your drafts, no matter how "ugly" you think that current draft is. 

List created by Robin G. Walker, PhD