Working in shifts is horrible... Sometimes early in the morning, sometimes late into the evening, sometimes all night... But when it comes to a scientific project, working in shifts is a good idea. Actually, working in shifts helps define clear work packages.
Such work packages are a good idea for the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral thesis. These can then be worked off nicely one after the other. So much for the theory... In order to make sure that working in shifts works well and that night shifts are not necessary as you get closer to the due date, check out our tips for planning your shifts here.
When working on the thesis, plan the shifts for only 2 hours each
Organize your shifts in two hour increments. Normally shifts last a third, half or a whole day. But the thesis is not a normal project... two hours will force you to work until you reach your stopping point.
Assign a time frame to each work packages of the thesis
A two-hour shift can be well dedicated to one work package of the thesis. This will help you get into a flow, a working rhythm, and bring you closer and closer to the goal of the thesis, the finished text.
Make taking breaks a routine when you’re working on your thesis.
We love breaks but we always forget about them. Of course, it’s great when you are in the middle of work and can't stop; then you're in a real flow. However, we know that we need some recovery time. The two-hour shifts help us to remember. Breaks are good for work morale!
Coordinate the shifts with your day job.
If you write your thesis alongside your work, you may only have a few hours a day to focus on it. In this case the two-hour shifts are good because they are easy to keep track of.
Use layers for variety in the thesis.
Variety is good for us and similarly, it’s great for your thesis. Layers can be used to create a wide variety of tasks such as researching, filling out tables, designing questionnaires, preparing consultations, writing, etc. Take advantage of it.
Set two-hour shifts in your calendar.
Two hours can be easily inserted into a digital calendar and copied to other days. This helps with planning and organization for the next days and weeks.
Consider your shifts as small milestones for the thesis
Shifts of two hours make the whole thesis more manageable. Each shift is a small milestone and you always have something to celebrate at the end of the shift.
Reward yourself after each shift if you reach your goal.
Taking a break alone is a great reward when you finish a shift... Other rewards lead to distractions such as eating, drinking, playing, talking on the phone, cleaning, short shopping, etc.
Reflect during your break after a shift
You will continue to think about the issues in your work package. This is vital to forming a deeper understanding. This is ultimately how the cognitive process works. We make connections in our brains and are then ready to absorb new knowledge.
Work for 2 hours then take a 15-minute break.
This power-working, power-sleeping technique has proven itself. Supposedly Leonardo da Vinci did the same. And he was very productive.
Good luck writing your text!
Silvio and the Team Aristolo
PS: Check out the Thesis-ABC and the Thesis Guide for writing a bachelor or master thesis in 31 days.