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My Brother Is Writing His Dissertation

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So my brother is in the middle of writing the dissertation for his PhD. He is going to be coming out to my place (from 600 miles away) to bunker down and finish writing his dissertation. My question for everyone in this forum is: 

If you could write your dissertation in a room with the perfect writing conditions and setup, what would be in that room? 

Things I have thought of are things like a small refrigerator with cold drinks, good lighting, energy drinks... 

What kinds of things could I put in that room that would be helpful for someone grinding out their dissertation? 

Thanks in advance!

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Everyone is different and hopefully your brother has a good idea of his own work habits, but let me tell you a bit about how it worked for me. I am a social scientist and basically everything I need for my work is on my computer, so my work environment can be pretty flexible. I don't need a large desk for books and such, but it's important to have a good internet connection since a lot of the material I need is online. It was useful to always have scratch paper in hand and occasionally I would write things on a whiteboard to work stuff out or to keep track of what I was doing. I always kept to-do lists and it helped me a lot to discuss with someone what I was up to and what I was planning to do for that day or that work session. Even if you don't understand what your brother says exactly, it may help him to talk things out loud and it gives some sense of accountability when you have told someone that you'll do X by time Y. Having snacks and a drink nearby also prevent some wandering around and trips to the fridge. Sometimes I played quiet music and sometimes I needed silence. One thing that is important is to have a space where you won't be interrupted and where there aren't (m)any distractions. It's good to have a well-lit work environment with a comfortable chair and desk. However, I also found it helpful to have more than one work environment and to be able to move to a new location whenever I got stuck (either in the house or outside--I had several coffeeshops that I spent a lot of time at). If it's in the house, having a couch or comfortable chair in addition to  the desk might be enough, or the possibility to work outside in the yard if it's not too cold. I can't tell you if any of this would help your brother, but I hope he will appreciate your efforts. Good luck to you both!

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I just wanted to chime in to say that this is LEGIT THE SWEETEST THING! What an awesome gesture! My day is actually better knowing that there are people like you around, plotting little ways to aid beleaguered loved ones in PhD programs!


Fuzzy is on-point (as per usual!)


I like having a little plant on my desk, but I'm wanting for outdoor space in my urban apartment! I used to have a little tea/coffee station but I have replaced it lately with a good carafe that is superb! I like having tea/coffee on the go all day, and this thing keeps it warm for 8 solid hours. Seriously, I could write sonnets about this device (and I might too, to avoid my own dissertation work).


This is the one that I've got: http://www.amazon.com/Copco-Chloe-Thermal-Capacity-Carafe/dp/B000MAOOLE/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1411512250&sr=1-1&keywords=copco+chloe+1+quart+thermal+capacity+carafe+white


Have fun putting this room together! Your brother is a lucky dude!

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  • 4 weeks later...

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