Literature review writing can take ages. It’s one of the many things we have to do that seems to just expand until it occupies every moment that we are awake… and lets face it, most of us have probably dreamt about it as well! We suffer for this. We miss out. Our friends and family miss out when we’re not there at gatherings and special occasions. We get tired and frustrated so quickly because we can’t escape.
It’s ironic that we do all this to spend more time in front of our keyboard and our literature review also suffers as a result. As tiredness and fatigue quickly set in we lose our ability to write and think properly. We know this, but it’s so difficult to actually put down our writing tools and take the precious time that we need to recuperate.
It’s time to take a stand
We shouldn’t have to choose between having a life and writing Tweet This
here are a few ways to take back your life
Schedule your down time
Make plans. Plan to relax. Plan to see friends and family. Plan to take holidays. This gives you something to look forward to and to aim for. Have you ever noticed you get more stuff done the day before you go on holiday? Make a plan and get more done
Don’t give yourself a choice
Plan to do things that you enjoy and that are difficult to get out of. For me, family stuff is always the best. Birthdays, weddings etc. Once you say you’ll go, you have to go.
Being able to keep your free time free means you have to focus while your at work. You cannot afford to spend time doing unimportant tasks.
Don’t waste your down time
You may have more down time than you actually realize. The problem is, if you waste it, you might not even know that you’re not working. If every time you finish writing you just slump in front of the T.V. or do other menial tasks you will never feel like you’re taking a break even if you’re not working. Try to spend your free time doing things that you genuinely enjoy.
Don’t waste your work time
When you’re working be working. These last two points really follow the principle of: Be present in whatever you are doing – Tweet This. Don’t waste time taking extended lunches or checking Facebook every 5 minutes. Sit down to work, and work!
This goes with the above points to help you focus and not waste your work time. When you prioritise you have to think and give the most important tasks precedence over less important ones. This obviously means that more important tasks get done first. Important tasks tend to be those that will contribute the most to you moving forward with your overall writing goal. By starting them first, you can get them out of the way and afford yourself some time off.
Commit to your free time. Commit even if it is just to yourself. If you said that your going to watch that movie tonight, then don’t work so late that you don’t have time to enjoy it. When the time comes, switch off the computer and go and take your well earned free time.
Try to organise your files so that you can work from a laptop or a tablet. This gives you much more flexibility to work and will give you more opportunities to take free time. Often we feel guilty when relaxing instead of working, even though it is an important part of keeping our minds refreshed. By having the ability to take work with us wherever we go, we can normally artificially remove that sense of guilt. Be careful though, this is artificial and doesn’t contribute anything to your writing. However, if it contributes to you having some good relaxation then I don’t see too much harm in it.
We shouldn’t have to give up our lives to do a literature review right? If you agree please leave a comment.