Don't postpone: Tips to get your postgraduate degree done and dusted

Level 3 of the national lockdown has commenced this week and universities are gearing up to begin their phased-in approach for teaching and learning. However, postgraduate students are most likely not to return any time soon as remote learning has always been expected of them.


Being at home with no time frames, schedules or routines makes it all too easy to slip out of the academic headspace. Here are some tips on how to ensure you finish your thesis on time:

Make to-do lists


Post-graduate studies generally have less deadlines than under graduate studies which means you can take weeks instead of days to get to those deadlines. Putting together a to-do list helps structure what you want to achieve and by when.


/\r\n/For example, if you are in your proposal stages you may set deadlines for when you want the summary, literature review and methodology section completed as these are the bigger sections in your proposal and need more attention.

Blogs and vlogs


Academics across the globe have set up blogs and vlogs that explain how they completed their thesis, section by section in the simplest way.


You can access these on various online platforms but WordPress blogs are popular and YouTube for vlogs. This will enable you to view a step-by-step guide on how to hit the nail on the head the first time round and save you from back-and-forth communication with your supervisors.

Do something every day


Your thesis is chunky compared to assignments therefore it is easy to lose interest and procrastinate getting down to it because you know there is so much effort to put in. Doing something everyday helps in these scenarios. A little done today, is a little less to do tomorrow.

Work smart not hard


Timing is key. Do not put too much of pressure on yourself to complete too much at a time. This would make your mind "reject" the idea before starting. Instead be realistic so you can be satisfied with your progress.


There's a study technique called the "Pomodoro technique" where you break up half an hour into 25 minutes of no-distraction writing and a five-minute break.


The 25 minutes involves no distractions at all and the time limit improves your focus and subsequently productivity.. If you do six Pomodoros, you would have completed close to three hours of study time and that is enough to call it a day.