Strategies to cope with the organisation of an undergrad dissertation

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    • #141019
      Mitt79
      Participant

      Hi,

      I’m 32 and recently diagnosed with inattentive ADHD. I’m in my last year at university (UK) and I’m really struggling with trying to organise and stay focused on my dissertation. I have somehow managed to pass all my other modules with good grades but they were a lot shorter and required a lot less organisation. Any tips would be welcome, I can usually leave it last minute and then I’m ‘all go’ but I have 3 other modules to do as well and they are all due mid April *gulp*.

    • #141020
      Outsider
      Participant

      You actually have given yourself the best advice in your observation of recent success. You have good grades in the modules that were shorter. I struggled, undiagnosed, in graduate school but making the dissertation achievable was accomplished by both external pressure (typical ADHD last minute stuff) and breaking it down into smaller pieces. Break down your dissertation into small, manageable modules and build a timeline for each. Find a way to enforce that timeline with a friend or personal penalty that will motivate you. With over 20 years working in research, I rely heavily on project managers and people close to me to break down big projects into small, measurable accomplishments with short timelines I can adhere to. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do when you chunk it down.

      • #141040
        Mitt79
        Participant

        Thank you for your advice. I hadn’t considered bringing on a friend / personal penalty, I think I’ll talk to my tutor see if she might be willing to this with me. As for breaking it down into smaller tasks, this is what I’m finding really difficult. With previous essays I would be in and out of journals/ books like a mad woman. Whilst it all worked out great in the end when I pieced my notes together like a jigsaw puzzle, I genuinely couldn’t tell you how I got from A to B. Its great because like I say I have achieved good grades, not so great because I don’t think I’m really learning anything for future research.

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