Motivation and productivity can also be thwarted by distractions in your physical environment. Something as simple as a phone call can distract you and make it difficult to regain the motivation and focus you had prior to the call. During your next dissertation work session take note of the sights and sounds around you. What distracts you from staying focused and motivated? Do cellular phone calls, people stopping by your office, or email alerts on your computer distract you and make it hard to stay on track? Many of my clients find it helpful to make it a standard practice to begin their work sessions by turning off the phone or their mail program, closing their office door or working in an environment where they will not be interrupted. Think about what distracts you and do your best to minimize those distractions. Also consider that you may need to find new or different work environments that are more conducive to being productive.

This article was written by Alison Miller, PhD, owner of The Dissertation Coach, a business dedicated to helping doctoral and master’s students successfully earn their graduate degrees.

Copyright August 2007 by Alison Miller, Ph.D., The Dissertation Coach