Since the end of spring semester, I've been actively trying to spend time daily writing my dissertation. From day one, I decided I will either (a) write 3 pages a day or (b) spend 3 hours writing/reading articles for my dissertation each day. I will stop working for the day as soon as option (a) or (b) comes up first. I've found that some days this is easier than others (i.e., depending on my mood and general hourly commitments those days). Some days I'm exhausted and other days I'm out and about from 8 am to 8 pm with clinical work.
Importantly, I've learned a few lessons from this progress. I've previously had the mentality of working all available productive hours and then sometimes falling asleep on my laptop in bed. After completing (a) or (b), I've been able to relax to go to sleep and/or watch television since I've felt that I've accomplished my goal for that particular day. I've also learned that dividing a large project like this into small steps make it seem more manageable and accomplishing on a daily basis, which prevents an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and procrastination in general. Although these lessons seem obvious, it is still hard to remind myself to relax and take small steps. However, I need to remind myself of the success I've made with this thus far to continue the progress.