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I’m at a paradoxical point in the process of writing this chapter. My deadline tomorrow is impossible to meet; too many other parts of life have demanded my attention in the past few weeks for me to dedicate the necessary time reading and drafting my ideas. Yet, somehow I have drafted over ten pages of reasonably well organized prose. Sure, this is only a third of the way to my goal of thirty pages, but I need to pat myself on the back for making it this far. I’m not ready to jump to the conclusion that I’ve quickened the pace of this chapter, but I will say that I am pleased to not find myself quite so bogged down by the enormity of the project.

I recently read on another blog that one of the best ways to get oneself into gear is to basically strip away all the contingent stuff from the tasks that need to be accomplished. The thinking is that if I schedule my time saying something like “if it is 10 AM, then I will go to my office and work for two hours on my thesis chapter,” I am more likely to carry out the plan. I like this approach because it simply strips away all the anxieties, emotions, and complications that can keep me from working. These distractions may not be my biggest problem, but they have complicated my working days. Knowing what I want to write—now that’s a whole other story.

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