Keys to Victory

In honor of football season, which fills the Future Doctor Jones family with glee, I present, in tribute to the corny wordplay of sportscasters everywhere, one of my personal keys to diploma-tic victory:

*The Monthly Plan*

Like a good offense, this plan must be built for flexibility. While it would be wildly unrealistic to expect the plan to go perfectly in actual game-time, it should still get you further down the field.

I was feeling a little hopeless earlier today at the thought of doing a lot of secondary research for my dissertation—reading that will be useful in an important, but indirect way. Last time this kind of reading was on my agenda, I didn’t work on my dissertation for nearly four months.

This time, I have a plan:
Step 1: find precisely twelve books / articles that are most crucial
Step 2: read those books and write brief responses
Step 3: finish reading those books and / or begin revising Chapter 1 in four weeks

The plan has to be specific—the vague “doing more reading” fails to achieve even a backyard touchdown. The plan has to be ambitious. Winners expect greatness. (Winners read three books a week.) And there has to be a second option. Even if I completely mess up the reading part, I will still lengthen my dissertation in four weeks. The line-men of insecurity seem to grow smaller before my very eyes. I’m thinking like a champion. I’m moving down the field.

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