Techniques for Staying Focused While Writing Your Dissertation

Techniques for Staying Focused While Writing Your Dissertation

The internet, Google, and social media are flashier and more distracting than ever before. Our professional teachers and personal lives are littered with interruptions, thanks to smartphones that allow us to take our diversions with us everywhere we go. It is complicated to keep enough attention to complete a book-length dissertation.

The skills I gained in this seminar are priceless. I felt obliged to share them with other graduate students who may feel overwhelmed by the arduous undertaking of writing a thesis or dissertation. I still employ many of these strategies, which helped me well during my dissertation.

After the one-month course, I finished a decent draught of my first chapter (my most challenging chapter, to get the ball going!). Vicki’s advice and encouragement have been invaluable to me, and I credit much of my writing success to her.


Here are some of my favorite and recommended takeaways from her class:

Take frequent breaks.

Studies demonstrate that when students take frequent breaks, their productivity rises. Breaking down your rewrite or essay writing into digestible portions can help you stay focused and keep your brain engaged on the issue at hand. Take a 15 or more-minute break away from your desk for every 45 minutes of serious work. Whether it’s a brief walk outdoors for some fresh air, a quick clean, or some stretches, your brain will thank you later!

Make a strategy.

You should also have a reasonable notion of when essays are due by now, and even if you don’t know the specific dates of individual tests, you should be aware of the week(s) in which exams are planned. So get a good start and plan out your work schedule right now. Whether you’re reading, researching, writing, or rewriting, set a goal for yourself at the end of each week, so you know you’re on pace to do everything on time. Purchasing a wall calendar or diary is a brilliant idea since it allows you to jot down key dates. It will let you know how much time you have left and when you will work on what.

Make a comfortable study atmosphere.

If you intend to study from home, make sure your room is neat, and your workstation is free of clutter. As the saying goes, a clean workplace allows for a clear mind, which is exactly what you need when working. You’ll also find it simpler to concentrate if your study area is somewhere you love being. A potted plant and enough illumination are tiny steps toward constructing your ideal study retreat. Relaxing music and scented reed diffusers can also assist in soothing your senses, putting you in a good mood to get some work done.

Avoid being distracted by social media.

It’s almost too simple to get sidetracked by social media these days. It’s tough to resist the enticing appeal of a Snapchat or Instagram notification when your phone buzzes in your pocket. And before you know it, you’ve to spend the entire afternoon looking through cute animal photographs and humorous videos, with no job completed. But don’t worry, software experts have devised a method to assist kids when they need to concentrate. You may use browser extensions like ‘StayFocusd’ to block your most distracting websites for a specific period. Smartphone users may install applications like ‘Offtime,’ which enable you to select settings like Work or Friends, so you only have the access to the ones you choose.

Consume plenty of fluids and eat healthily.

During test times, it is common for students to get so concentrated on their work that they neglect to focus on their well-being and also Staying hydrated and avoiding junk food are the simplest ways to help yourself function at your best. Set the alarm on your phone to drink a large glass of water every couple of hours and nibble on nutritious fruit and almonds while studying. A lack of water or eating high-fat meals can make you angry and sluggish, which is the last thing you want to have when trying to be productive!

Take care of yourself.

It is critical to reward oneself for learning to stay motivated. These may be little prizes like a square of chocolate for each paragraph you write or watching some episode of your favorite Netflix show after you’ve mastered editing a specific topic. When you feel you’ve worked hard, or when projects and tests have been completed, give treat yourself to something more which is substantial, such as a night out with friends or the purchase of that pair of boots you’ve had your eye on for months. Remember that just because it’s testing season doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Don’t pull all-nighters; you’ll be sorry!

You may believe that staying up all night working keeps you on pace with your academics. However, pulling all-nighters and working when sleep-deprived might have a negative influence on your health and, as a result, impair your productivity. A good night’s sleep is most essential for staying focused and learning quickly—sleep aids in memory consolidation, which is necessary for learning and converting short-term memory to long-term memory. So, instead of extra cups of coffee or cans of Red Bull, switch to your bed and make sure you receive the required amount of hours of sleep every night.

If possible, remove oneself from any family-related distractions:

Wearing headphones and/or posting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your (closed) door may be necessary (music is optional). Anecdotally, I’ve discovered that having headphones without any music on forces me to focus better while also allowing me to hear some (loud) sounds, which may be critical in an emergency.

Study with Others Who Share Your Interests

Studying in a group may be a double-edged sword since it can rapidly devolve into a useless chit-chat session. However, just like a gym friend, studying with another individual with the same aim may be beneficial for inspiration and keeping each other going. It might be difficult to locate the proper study companion, but if you do, seeing someone else working as hard to attain their goals can do wonders for your attention. If you decide to join a group, keep an eye on your ability to concentrate.

Eat a well-balanced diet and try to avoid fatty foods.

We’re sure you’ve figured out by now that we’re big fans of eating right for peak performance. Sugary cereals, drinks, and quick noodles are examples of highly processed foods to avoid. Remember that eating large meals before studying is a recipe for drowsiness!

For continuous energy throughout the day, fuel your body and mind with natural, nutritious food that is balanced with protein, carbs, veggies, and healthy fats. What you consume makes you who you are.


Each class meeting was followed by 5 minutes of meditation to help us prepare for and focus on our writing assignments. This was an excellent approach for me to clear my mind, let go of the rest of the day, and focus just on my main priority—writing. I agree with numerous other GradHackers who have discussed the benefits of meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction in graduate school.

What is the dissertation?

A dissertation is a written summary of study findings. It is the final stage of a doctorate program and the completion of a student’s doctoral study. “The dissertation is a frequently a collection of academic and practical knowledge, and it may be the student’s first publication in many situations.”

How many hours per week should a dissertation be completed?

The trick is to avoid having to FIND time. The idea is to PROTECT your time so that you always have at least 20 hours each week to concentrate on your dissertation.

How many hours per week should a dissertation be completed?

The trick is to avoid having to FIND time. The idea is to PROTECT your time so that you always have at least 20 hours each week to concentrate on your dissertation.

What is the dissertation’s main point?

Dissertations address a specific research subject and may report on an empirical investigation or a literature-based study. Although the goal of a dissertation is to answer a question, the process is more significant than the results.


If you can follow all the above steps properly, you will be able to work focused on your work. Dissertations are something that needs lots of concentration and focus, for which you need to be patient. In the above article, we have discussed all the steps you should follow to stay in focus.

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