It’s important to have a sense of accomplishment. You will feel that you are making progress when you can look back on the last week or month and see the records of what you have written, what you have done. You can create a personal journal or log to track what you have done every single day—whether you have written for ten or fifteen minutes, whether you have edited or revised something for an hour, or whatever you might have done. This is a way of validating your progress.

What types of tasks and behaviors are worth recording? Here are a few: (1) reading articles and books; (2) creating notes or highlighting important sections from your reading material; (3) communicating with your chairperson and/or committee members; (4) doing administrative types of things with the university, such as registering for courses, paying appropriate tuition and fees, submitting the IRB application, etc.; (5) making contact with the sources of participants or subjects; (6) and of course, writing and revising. When you can honestly say to yourself that you have done something meaningful every day related to your dissertation and you have a record of what you’ve done, then you will have evidence of your progress. Then, it’s only a matter of time before you will have completed your dissertation and graduated with your doctorate.