I'm so happy to be able to say that my dissertation and I have moved into a new phase of our relationship. I'm making progress. I have full drafts of three chapters and have already received feedback on two of them. I'm working on a fourth chapter. The final dissertation will consist of six chapters, though the first and last of them will be introduction and conclusion that should come together relatively quickly. My appendices (all ten of them, totaling more than 100 pages) are complete, just waiting for me to edit pagination and check that my sections are properly numbered.
My goal is to turn in my completed dissertation to my committee in 4 weeks. Sometimes I completely freak out, other times I can just push through the panic and get to work. One of the tools that I've recently discovered is the app pomodroido. From what I have gleaned from reading on time management, the pomodoro method encourages work to be completed in 30-minute time periods, or pomodoros. During each pomodoro, a person works for 25 minutes and then has the option for a five minute break. Following four pomodoros, a 15-minute break is suggested, but is also optional. The app times and tracks everything for me. I am such a sucker for getting points or stars or moving up a level, and pomodroido does that as well. What can I say? I'm just a five-year-old with a sticker chart at heart. I also love the time blocking, because I can convince myself to do pretty much anything for 25 minutes.
There's an end in sight. I applied for graduation yesterday - May 4th, 2012 cannot come soon enough. Well, really, it's the week of May 28th that I can't wait for. Dissertation defense, here I come!