Tracking PhD writing progress

Tracking your progress is important, and even more so in your PhD writing.

I am currently editing my second chapter about literature review, which was 24 pages when I started and roughly 10,000 words. Initially I thought that I would spend 1-2 days editing it based on supervisor comments and other progression of writing (moving parts from other chapter, etc).

However, turns out I have been doing it for over 4 days. It makes me feels depressed as I didn’t meet my expectation (over and over again). So I time tracked my writing to understand why it takes ages. Using a simple spreadsheet (see below), I track my writing time and pages that I am currently editing. I tried to put a timer as well so I would feel much motivated.


Turns out for each page to be edited I spend around ONE HOUR.

(some of it takes half an hour, but then often I spend longer on other pages due to missing or incorrect quotes and other major changes).

While this number makes me slightly even more depressed, at least it gave a more accurate calculation for my future target. It is true that everything takes (way) longer than we think.


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