Decide at the start what you are willing to give up to complete your dissertation. You may have to drop a commitment, sport, hobby, or leisure activity to be disciplined and finish your dissertation on time. This is a small price to pay for completing your dissertation and earning your doctorate.

This is where a lot of doctoral students sometime fail themselves. The truth is, the completion of a dissertation is a big deal. In academia, it is the most difficult of all endeavors. Taking classes, writing term papers, and taking examinations are pretty common activities. Doctoral students always do them. It’s at the dissertation level, where you must do educational research that really counts. It’s the World Series of academia.

Sometimes people who call asking for my help say the problem is that “they don’t have any time.” If they don’t have any time, how can I possibly help them? I can’t do the work for them, but I will work as their coach and consultant. The bottom line is that if they aren’t willing to give up something, whether it’s television, a golf game, or sleep, they won’t see results. You only have to do this once. After finishing the dissertation and earning your degree, you get to be “Doctor So­-and-So” forever.

Make some kind of sacrifice because there will be new opportunities open to you after you graduate.