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I get it: you have a job because your rent, school fees, dining out and all your other living expenses, will not pay for themselves.  But, like most others, you have ambition and drive and are determined to improve your life and the meaning you get from it.  So, in an attempt to learn more; build your competencies; add to your list of qualifications; prove to yourself you can do it; give yourself a chance at a promotion or; become the entrepreneur you’ve been dreaming of for years, you undertook a postgraduate qualification.  Congratulations!

But, now, it’s time to write your thesis.  This is a mammoth task and one that will be both daunting and challenging.  Getting a grip on your life by balancing your thesis, work, family, health and any other aspect of life that is meaningful to you, is essential to this process.


When you stop working, STOP working.

You DO NOT have to answer every e-mail or text message immediately.  When you leave work, consciously shift your attention away from it.  For example, be cognizant of your surroundings on the way home and enjoy the drive. When you arrive, hug your family and pets and be present with them.  Leave your work at work and your thesis at your desk.  You need time to be with yourself and those you love.

Make time to de-compress.

Dance naked in the rain, have that bubble bath, get messy, swim in the ocean, make some noise and sing at the top of your voice, or dance to your favourite tunes.  Make sure that your scheduling also allows time to relax and participate in activities that you love and that give you pleasure.  This is vital.  

Develop your own regular self-care strategies AND have a routine.

Get some sleep, make your bed, eat breakfast, drink more water, and have your bedtime brandy.  But, whatever you do, find a daily routine and stick to it.  Not your lover’s or your mother’s, one of your very own, one that works for you.  This could include practices such as: mediation, mindfulness, reading, stretching, yoga, massage, exercise, reflective writing, etc.  Perhaps even find an app that can measure these activities for you – nothing like the feeling of achievement.  It is crucial to make an effort to be with yourself and engage in restorative practices, even if only for a short time each day or week.

Make a damn schedule and stick to it.

So far, my tips only include the good stuff.  You have to make plenty of time to write your thesis too.  You have to make some sacrifices to life as you know it.  Build all these tips into a realistic schedule and without being too harsh on yourself, stick to it as best you can.  And if you find you’re procrastinating, read about the procrastination bully.

Have at least 3 belly laughs every day.

This could save you – even if you have to make yourself laugh out loud at your own jokes.