Time management is a whole new world. It's the opposite of "being ready at the last minute". Time management means choosing one's own activities in such a way that one's own quality of life is as high as possible.
The least possible suffering is the underlying goal, no matter in which area. With time management as an attitude towards life, life becomes better.
When you’re working on the thesis, time management means: YOU decide when you want to tackle which task for the text and when you want to finish it. Also, the date you plan on finishing should be well before the deadline or the submission date. YOU don't wait to finish until time is up because then you don’t have time to check your work and do anything extra (like in exams...) This is not being in control but forced.
How do you manage to be temporally in control?
You know the deadline, you know how much or little time you have left but you don't want to push the envelope. In the end, it's the same pattern: rushed, insatisfactory work and night shifts with consequences such as tiredness, irritability or errors in the text, in the references, in the conclusion and in the formatting ... But never mind, as long as it's done! The final grade? Not as good as it could and should be.
Why is that? What are the reasons for this unreasonable behavior?
Excuses not to write the thesis:
1. Other things are more important right now.
Obviously that's an excuse. If other things were more important, then you would be doing the other things full-time rather than the thesis…
2. I have my thesis under control and I don't have to do anything yet.
Why would you think that when you have NEVER written a thesis before? Term papers are a maximum of 30 pages, the thesis at least 40, and the term paper basically consists of compiling some ideas from literature. However, the thesis requires a real personal contribution.
3. I've always been able to do it...
Self-confidence is important. Especially when it comes from such achievements as: I wrote my last paper in one night, 15 pages in one night... And? How proud were you with the result? That night lasted way longer than 10 hours, the reading and collecting required beforehand was already a lot of work and copying from existing texts was certainly not such a challenge. And in the end, what grade did you get...
4. The extra clever excuse
"If I start it at the last minute, I’ll save a lot of time. Then I won't have to work on my thesis for three months, I'll just work three weeks." Ha-ha-ha. Ask yourself honestly if you have completed another meaningful project in the previous 9 weeks. You probably looked for sources from time to time, read, took notes, talked to others about the thesis, etc. You would have saved a lot of time if you had started when you were supposed to, finished it days later and earned money with a student job...
The solution: time management in the thesis
Management of time means: I am the ruler of my time. That sounds trivial because I always am. But, if I let time pass me by, I am passive and do NOT decide how to spend my time.
Time management means that I determine what happens and when, on a certain day, of a certain week. But as long as I put the project off that was assigned to me, I am not a mistress or master of my time. This is proven by the fact that I am always annoyed because I don’t have the time to do other things. I cancel on friends, cannot participate in interesting events or maybe neglect my body because I have to finish this project first.
Gain time management during the thesis
The following tips will help you to handle your time more confidently.
1. Check and re-check decisions
Review your decision to make sure that you really want to do what you have to do. The decision is quite simple: if I finish the thesis, I’ll graduate with a degree. If I don’t finish the thesis, I won't get a degree. So I have to want this. And if I have to want it anyway, I might as well want it without being forced to do it. It's worth solving this apparent conundrum!
2. Tools and techniques for the thesis
I will acquire the necessary techniques and methods. I will procure the proper tools, so I can manage my project faster and better. You are already familiar with many of the techniques for academic writing, by the way, and have been using them for a long time. This saves a lot of time. The Thesis Guide shares these methods, techniques, tools, templates and examples. That will save you from procrastination.
3. Work on another project besides the thesis
I am looking for another parallel project that I really enjoy. This is serious. Nothing speeds up progress in one project than working on a second project. Because then you are pressed for time and you automatically have to do more in less time so you won’t have any time for excuses.
4. A follow-up project for the thesis
While we are working on projects, a follow-up project can be a wonderful motivation. This can be a trip or a seminar, an event like a wedding or even an internship.
These decisions and activities will help you be more confident with how you manage your own time. Then it's just a matter of focus and full speed ahead.
Good luck writing your text!
Silvio and the Aristolo Team
PS: Check out the Thesis-ABC and the Thesis Guide for writing a bachelor or master thesis in 31 days.