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To guard against losing track of my Ph D at times when I was too busy to devote any time to it I kept detailed notes of my progress.As a result of this, I know exactly how much time I spent writing up each chapter for the final version of the thesis.
Throughout this period there were weeks when I could not progress my work at all.
This was largely due to other commitments in intensive periods related to teaching such as the marking season towards the end of each semester.
Although all Ph D theses are different, the proportion of time on each type of chapter may be helpful to those who have resolved to submit their theses in 2017.
In total it took me 68 days to write up my thesis (NB 68 to the work, not 68 days to complete the Ph D!
Handwritten ideas and remarks kept in notebooks over the course of Ph D registration are also very valuable ‘private’ resources.
Once we have completed this audit, the challenge of transforming all the work completed to date into an 80,000 word thesis appears not to be so great – but of course, it still all needs to be done!
You cannot control for all of them (for example, illness), but I would caution against getting actively involved in anything that will take you away from your Ph D at this intensive stage, such as planning a big event (for example, a major holiday, a house move, or a family wedding) or starting a new job.
If you are still in the early stages of your doctoral study, my first piece of advice is to plan your conference participation and journal paper publishing activity with the final thesis in mind.
There were other times when it was much easier to devote myself to my Ph D.
For example, I took annual leave in University vacation time for this purpose (rather than went away on holiday).