Week 1: May 29 – June 6
Okay, I cheated a little. A couple of weeks before diving into Week 1, I took some time to gather my thoughts and really understand, what do I need to achieve to accomplish this thesis. How many hours, days, and how much brain-space could I dedicate to this? Thesis 108 really covers what went through my mind and how I figured out the best way to spend summer 2020.
Google Sheets is an organizer’s best friend. Just the mere cells allow for customization that lets your personality shine on paper. But let’s not get bogged down by the tiny details. I created a sheet with several tabs — Daily schedule, Overview, and a week by week breakdown. The Overview allows me to track how far I have come and keeps the end-game in sight at all times. Sometimes we lose track of what our goal is, and crossing these off one by one is a great weekly reminder.
So notice how I haven’t crossed out anything yet? Real talk: I’m two weeks behind. How did this happen you ask? Great question. I have no clue! A combination of a couple of things led to my current nightmare – I relied on my memory to remind me when to start instead of just checking the calendar I made. (Past me is so upset with the current me) And to top it all off, I haven’t been able to wake up at my start time – 4:30 AM. Snoozing is probably another one of my best friends. I overshot, plain and simple…and I’m not proud of it. BUT it’s a new day, and that means a whole 24 hours to use to my advantage (minus essential sleeping and eating, of course).
Week of May 24th and most of May 31st flew right past me, as I focused more on my work-work related tasks rather than my thesis-related tasks… but I did get like 9 readings done… Don’t those count? Well, it’s the weekend, and I’m ready to get to work and catch-up.
The original goal was to have read 72 papers by June 5th. That’s A LOT of reading. To organize that, I inserted a tally chart to make sure I was hitting my goals or at least that’s what I initially planned. Keep reading for my new plan, I think you’ll be proud of me.
I found it really helpful to organize my summary sheet for my readings by key components that are easy for me to track down. There are 6 categories that are the most important to me in referring back to the literature: Paper + Link, APA reference, Topics (like buzz-words), Hypothesis/Research questions asked by the paper, Findings/Results, and How this relates back to my thesis.
Filtering your data through these key points can help you reflect on what you are reading, and make it easy to create your reference section for the thesis in the process.
So what’s my new plan? As you might know, we plan for these types of things – lack of motivation, human error, and laziness. So this weekend, if I read 3 sessions a day, 10 articles a session, I can catch up significantly. It’s not the end of the world, but I seriously need to get my act together. The wonderful thing about the weekend is that you don’t have to attend to office work and can focus on tasks that you haven’t been able to give much attention to.
Stay tuned for next week’s updates