How to balance family and thesis writing

So you’re writing a thesis or dissertation, and you want your family and significant relationships to weather the storm. Sounds legit. Here are five points to achieve balance.  It’s not rocket science.

1.  Identify the dynamics of your research project that work against a balanced life (they may not be obvious).

2.  Clarify your goals, values and talents.  Protect important non-work goals and values from being pushed out by work demands.

3.  Discipline your research and writing so that you achieve your most important work and personal goals.

4.  Find what works for you to maintain a healthier balance to your life.  Apply planning and management strategies to  your work activities.

5.  Don’t overplan and overschedule.  Regularly review your goals, and allow for the unplanned and unexpected.

You may want to set aside “dedicated time” for personal and family non-work activities, such as:

  • Family night each week with your spouse and children
  • Special time for personal interaction with each child
  • Time set aside each week with your spouse and/or to develop close friendships
  • Time for hobbies, community service, faith-based activities, etc

Source: Gordon B. Davis, Clyde A. Parker & Detmar W. Straub, Writing the Doctoral Dissertation: A Systematic Approach (3rd edn; Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2012), pp. 34-37.

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