How I wrote a PhD thesis in 3 months

After almost 3 years, I was on the point of quitting my PhD in the summer of 2006.

I had nowhere near enough results, the equipment I was using didn’t work most of the time, and I could barely summon the motivation to get up in the morning.

So how did I write my thesis in 3 months?

1. Dealing with stress

After a near-breakdown, I started taking walks around the campus when I faced a problem in my research or found myself getting stressed.

I took the time to think about what I needed to do and get myself in the right frame of mind to come back and deal with the problem.

Previously I would have found myself killing time on the internet just to get through to the end of the day. This one change in habit probably saved my PhD.

2. Limiting the time available

Though my productivity increased once I figured out how to deal with stress, I was still doing experiments well into the start of my fourth year.

I had a final submission date (at the end of my 4th year), but my research was still a bit chaotic. It wasn’t focused on finishing.

My supervisor (the brilliant Professor Moriarty) then told me that I would no longer be allowed into the lab after the end of March 2007, and that I would have to write whatever I had.

3. Adapting and acting decisively

Because of the limited time, I had to make some tough decisions. Anything I did, I would either have to finish or let go. There would be some loose ends, but that was OK as long as I tied up others.

I had to decide not to do certain things, and focus with energy and determination on others.

Still though, the thesis would be a little thin. So I took on a side project based on another student’s research, which could produce some results quickly.

This side project produced the most interesting result of my scientific career.

4. Finishing research before writing

By the time I stopped doing experiments, I knew I had enough for a PhD. Not the best PhD ever, and not world-changing, but good enough.

Because I wasn’t allowed back in the lab, I just had to focus on writing. The hard part was behind me. The results weren’t going to change, so it was just a matter of making sure I was productive when writing.

It is much, much easier to write when you know the raw material isn’t going to change.

5. Preparation

I decided to work at home, not at the office, because there would be fewer distractions.

I got rid of the TV, and had no internet connection on my computer. The lack of internet meant I had to gather all the papers I would need beforehand, forcing me to think about what I would need.

I also set up a dedicated space (2 large desks joined together and a very comfortable chair, next to a large window for plenty of natural light), just for thesis writing.

6. Targets and consistency

I set myself a target of 3 months, broken down into targets for each chapter. This would give me about 3 months in reserve before the final absolute deadline.

I had a daily minimum target of 500 words, which I knew I could meet even on the least productive days.

This meant that because I smashed the target most days, I finished every day feeling good about my progress, which in turn meant I started the next day feeling confident.

7. Routine

The two most important parts of the day are the beginning and end. It’s important to build momentum early, and have a routine for ending the day too.

At the end of each day I always left myself something easy to do to get started with the next day, so I woke up knowing what I was going to do.

I also tidied the desk at the end of every day, which also helped close the day mentally and stopped my brain going over and over the thesis at night.

8. Applying ruthless standards to what I included

Whether it was the lit review, or my own work, I cut anything sub-standard.

I focused only on the very best literature, saving myself a huge amount of time. It also had the result of associating my work with the very best in the field.

I only wrote about what I knew about, which made the thesis shorter, faster and easier to write, and of higher quality than if I had included everything whether I understood it or not.

9. Taking time over details that matter

I took painstaking care over the clarity of the writing, the diagrams and the overall look of the thesis.

If a diagram took 2 hours, so be it. If I couldn’t find a high-quality image in a paper to paste in, I would re-draw it myself. Why? Because it adds so much to the feel of quality running through the thesis.

“The unreconstructed Si(111) surface”. This took a very long time to draw and make sure the diagram was accurate.

By applying obsessive focus to one detail at a time, I could make sure that I wouldn’t have to do it again. This brings me to the final point…

10. One draft

I always edit as I write, with one goal only: to make sure I’ve expressed the idea in my head clearly on the page. I don’t move on until I feel the sentence makes sense, with no ambiguity of meaning.

Clarity of thought is always the number one aim. But it is very difficult to come back to a piece of writing days or weeks later and sort out a mess of thought if you don’t clarify your writing while the thought is still fresh in your head.

This means I was constantly re-reading and revising what I’ve just written, but also means that when I submitted something to my supervisor it needed very few revisions and saved months, simply by getting as close to “right” as I could the first time round.

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Comments

  1. Michael says

    Trying to finish my thesis and getting bogged down in life commitment. Your blog has given me a bit of motivation to keep chipping away at it. For me I have to leave home when I want to study and find a quite spot in the university library. When at home my family assume I am available for all activities or chores such as putting the bins out, mowing the lawn, pick up and drop off for the kids including grocery shopping if my teenagers have consumed the contents of the fridge in a couple of hour. Thanks for the tips

    • nili. says

      Tnx 4 sharing information,im weak student, im worry;i cant write a thesis that could be publish in ISI journal;my information is not enough;if i cudnt prepare i cant get phd university;tell me wt i can do,who can help me.

  2. Sylvs says

    Gosh, thank you so much I really needed this. Such a timely article for somebody just getting back into the saddle after months of not writing or even thinking about my PhD, working full time, single Mum and trying to figure out how to just sit down and write. I am on it, I have 6 months to go and if you can do in 3 months there are no excuses.
    Thanks for sharing, you’ve made a world of difference.

    • Rina says

      kicking off a phd soon…a single mother too and would be working pt (cannot do ft with 2 kids). All the stuff about not being able to finish was getting to me but this post is encouraging…and then your about being a single mother working ft and pursuing a phd…makes me feel better.

  3. Vrishali says

    I am so glad to find that last tip on the ‘first draft’. I too spend a lot of time and energy in re-reading and revising my first draft with the intent that it should need least revisions from my reviewer and should have least trouble for my sympathetic reader (friends/ guide). But all the writing advice focuses so much upon ‘just-produce-the-first-however-shitty-draft’, that it used to make me feel guilty. I would not assert that my ‘first drafts’ are perfect, ready-to-publish; but at the same time I feel preparing the final manuscript becomes much easier when I have done your best to maintain coherency, style, and quality in my first drafts.

    Perhaps I understand the logic behind this usual advice of shitty first draft. I guess it wishes to push the student/ writer out of the so-called writer’s block. Honestly, even I have gone through it. But now in the last year of my PhD, I feel that the reasons for that block were deeper than just an urge of writing ‘perfect’… Actually those were insufficiency of the actual research (data and analysis), stress/ nervous breakdown etc. So, now I feel that if I can tackle those things first, and then write, I am less prone to procrastinate and my usual inclination (I do not want to say ‘obsession’!) to write careful first drafts eventually saves quite a lot of time and energy for revisions. And after reading your post, I can even let go of my guilt! Thank you.

  4. P.C says

    Thank you so much for this blog post. I’m currently one thesis away from finishing my M.A degree. I was supposed to finish my thesis two years ago but life happened Marriage, baby, etc. Now i’m 100% committed to completing it and I have no other choice because my deadline will be January 1 2015! You gave me some helpful tips. Congrats on finishing.

  5. Prasad says

    Hey Brother where ever the world you are! I am currently in the exact (identical) status of PhD as you were 6 months before your completion. Your story motivated me and given me light to come out of the stressed pissed whole I am living in thanks. I ll keep you posted in six months how I progressed.!!

    Cheers

      • Mimi says

        The article is very motivating. I’m a busy mother of two. I have so much distraction around me and also lots of responsibilities as well. I have done lots of lab work but when now I’m looking at it it’s all repeated and to reproduce same results. I have not read a lot as well. Now from yesterday I have starting writing my thesis because I think if I will start writing I will then have to cite and read literature. Still not reading the whole paper which is not right may be. After reading your article I want to finish my thesis not in three but four months. Three would probably unreal :-) thanks and congrats on such an achievement.

  6. she-can says

    I am guilty over disappearing from my supervisor..I am already at my 5th year of my phd and happen to report back to duty in the same faculty as my SV (FYI, i am already an academician thru’ my clinical Master) but in different dept. I still have the final chunk of my labwork part need to be done and now avoiding him as I feel that I did not progress much due to my teaching commitment. FYI, I have lost interest in my Phd work since I got so many rejections of the manuscript I sent for publication and to think there is no novelty of the work since the plant that I chose for my study has been deeply researched by others. Also, partly I am blaming my SV for not forecasting such things to happen in my study and he does not even want to read any draft of my manuscript. The only thing he read so far is my ppt slides I prepared for my defence and he showed very little interest in my project. I feel abandoned and this drive me farther from him. Please advise. I am on the verge of giving up.

    • James Hayton says

      PhD in physics is worth quite a lot actually. Maybe you had a bad experience, doesn’t mean you can apply a sweeping generalisation to others, especially out of context here since I didn’t mention being stressed during my write up.

  7. Angel says

    I have been delaying with my Masters because of pressure. I now know the best way put is to get in and finish it. Then kiss academia goodbye….I am glad the pressure has helped me discover what works for me and what doesn’t. I would not want a gap of 2-3 years strggling with a coerced project that stresses me.

    I am happy for you…..Dr…..the world is your oyster.

  8. reza says

    Thanks mate, I’m working on my MS thesis, it was paused for two years, yep so stupid world, but I’ve worked on my life’s thesis, such a great results for my personality, I have no real supervisor, he never cared and supported me, so I’m totally alone and I just wanna finalize my work in 5 weeks, I had worked in theory enough, I have some delay to do in implementation phase, I just liked to comment about how is my current experience about thesis stuff.

  9. OMKAR GAWAS says

    truely mate you changed my approach towards handling of stress and indeed helped me in working it out….ambadnya

  10. thandi says

    I tried to make a copy of this “The 3 month thesis” article at least PDF, but I was unfortunate.

    Thank you

  11. danadler says

    correct is better than done and/or handed in……. sounds like a an orphan in regard to supervision… well done in any case to close the project out.

  12. angela says

    I am in my first year of my PhD. and have been stressed on coming up with my dissertation topic. I have submitted several for approval but no luck. Working full time as a teacher, with three children this one task has taken me a three weeks! I am still not pleased with my topic, but getting depressed and stressed about choosing one that will be 100% accepted.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks

  13. notfreakingout says

    You don’t know me , but you pretty much changed my life. Not being over dramatic or anything i was on the verge of quitting . 3 years on, had an annual review that completely killed any moral i had left. I’m frustrated, tired, depressed and distressed. I honestly believe i am giving it my all. Add a full time job which i need , 2 drafts 3 incomplete chapters submission date in 7months . i feel i am for lack of a better word screwed . I will chug on but an accident right now sounds like a better idea.

    • STRESSEDGIRL says

      I know exactly how you feel. I have been doing my PhD 4 years and have 6 months to go. I feel like I know nothing, my supervisor has systematically bullied me to the point where I no longer have the confidence to write a simple introduction. I have worked every day for the past month – weekends and evenings – and I know that when I send her my work it will still be pulled apart, no help given, and returned to me again to do again. My doctor has advised that I quit for the sake of my mental health but I don’t feel I can as I will have a huge 4 year gap on my CV. I really hope that I can follow the advice here because I think at this point it’s my only chance.

      • Teresa says

        Your post really resonated with me. I have a rather unsupportive supervisor and am at the point where I feel morally obliged to continue, otherwise I’ve wasted 4 years and a lot of time and money. I see this post was written in August – how are you going now?
        T.

  14. Anthony Parks says

    FUCK YES I AM GOING BALLS TO THE WALL TODAY WITH DISS WRITING AFTER READING THIS. A+++ ADVICE

  15. says

    Dear colleque,
    First, I would like to congratulate on your success, cause it is really success write a Phd thesis in 3 months. Second, i would like to thank you cause, after all that experience, you still have enough will and strength to share it with common Phd students, like i am.
    Third, this is really most usefull paper about how to move from death point and write a discussion part.
    So just to say, after 6 moths, this is a first day that I successed in writing anything, not just that 700 words. So, it’s really works.

  16. mAGGIE VILLAR says

    Hi!

    Great blog post! No wonder why it has a lot of traffic. I really need your advice, I have so much on my plate right now (I work as an analyst and I’m reviewing for law school admissions) and I’m in the middle of finishing my thesis about Corporate Social Responsibility. I have four months left before my deadline and I have a great thesis adviser but she acts like she does not care if I finish it on time or not. I’m lost in the plethora of literature and she said I should bombard my thesis with referencing but it’s just not my style because I’m used to writing feature and opinion articles for our paper rather than scientific writing. I really hope you could help.

    Thanks!

  17. genie says

    Dear James,
    I really like your article in fact I’ve been coming back to your blog a few times now just to remind myself I can do it. Thanks. Would like to ask for your opinion. Is it possible to write a good thesis if the results were negative? Not everything negative: first half of my research was good but the second half did not produce any result. I had to stop trying because it took too long and my supervisor asked me to write first to see how strong my thesis will be. I always feel uncertain about whether I could produce a good thesis based on negative result or not, and this has made me very unmotivated to write up. Thanks in advance.

    • Anne says

      DO NOT DESPAIR- SOMETIMES NEGATIVE RESULTS ARE MORE INTERESTING THAN POSITIVE ONES – YOU MAY FIND YOU HAVE MORE TO SAY ABOUT THESE NEGATIVE OUTCOMES THAN YOU WOULD HAVE HAD IF THE RESULTS HAD BEEN ALL POSITIVE.

  18. Erin says

    Whoa. I always edit as I write, but I have always considered it an issue. Many people insist on rough drafts, but I’m with you: I will lose the clarity of thought if I don’t get it right the first time. That said, I do struggle with maintaining a flow in my writing if I’m constantly interrupting myself to fix a typo or some other irregularity. Does this happen to anyone else?

    • Char says

      Haha, I am the most chronic edit-as-I-write person EVER. I see it as a problem. I wish I could break the habit, but it’s so ingrained. I tend to agonise over each sentence and progress at snail’s pace!

      Hope yours is going well now Erin.

      • James Hayton says

        Well if you do it to excess, it can be a problem. I try to aim for clarity of expression… if it isn’t clear then I will stay with it, if it’s OK then I move on.

        It’s equally problematic if you just write as fast as you can without thinking. I think the ideal lies somewhere in between, taking care, but not agonising. Not easy to get the balance right, admittedly.

        • Sarah W. says

          If English is your second language, you HAVE to edit anyway. I think I will let my native speaker find proof read my writing. I am not that confident.

  19. Alex says

    We deal with making of all kinds of research projects. No matter what is your query but we provide you with the solution of all your queries.

  20. muhorane justin says

    thx a lot ,good advice to us, i have dream, one day i will get my phd or doctorat, iam i young man ,but i believe, i have only degree in business management. ok thx God bless u.

  21. hamimah says

    thanks for sharing – i am left with not much time now & I cant believe someone out there have done it in 3 months. you have build the confidence in me :)

  22. Jazzkrauser says

    You got the famous Prof.Moriaty? OMG! He’s like celebrity.Thank you for writing such a guidance.I’m just 3 months old in my PhD program.I like ’500 words a day’.Maybe I can adapt it in my thesis starting from now.

  23. Peter malling says

    Tnx for some great inputs. Could you say something about organising the structure of the text? I like the idea of setting do-able goals of which sections to write. But that requires a certain degree of top-down approach to writing. You need to know the structure in advance in order to put up a plan on how to write them. But i think that the structure often emerges through my writing, and i don’t know how the text will look in advance. This is also a great pain, as it implies that the structure keeps changing and expands in size, and it becomes impossible to finish it.
    I would really like to be able to set up a detailed section-by-section outline before starting writing, that would make planning much easier, but i can’t handle it due to the above reason.

  24. Comsoc says

    Thanks for the wonderful advice. I was on verge of giving up after spending 4 loooong years. At least I am happy to know I am not the only one. My guide is very particular for simulation based results but my thesis is completely based on mathematically calculated results. I am stuck between these two because to set up a simulation model will take up another year and I am not at all willing to waste further time. Any advice ???

  25. cliff says

    Very good article. Some very handy tips. I’m nearly finished writing my thesis now but i didn’t do the usual putting three months aside for writing. I just published my work as i went along. this is very convenient at the end when you can sit back and relax because all you have to do is the literature review. if this is possible i strongly suggest doing this as you will really appreciate it at the end. if possible of course.

  26. Amir says

    Wow great tips James !

    Now I know I’m not alone, now I got only 1 month to finish my draft, 2 month to refill anything that is not sufficient to my supervisor and my final deadline is the end of this year . Wish me luck.

    Again, Thanks for the tips!

  27. Helen says

    Hi,
    Nice and motivating tips! Thanks!

    I am on my 3th month of PhD Thesis writing. I also planned 3 months. But now I think I am fading. Sometimes I just do not manage to get focused, I sit in front of the computer and my mind is white… pure white. Did it happen to you? I have tried walking around to organize my thoughts, changing the activity for 10-15 min, reading something related to what I want to write…, but I cannot get out of that stuck-mode. It is like if my brain was on strike! do you have any advice?

    Thanks.

  28. Immy says

    Great Advice James!! I have been using your book and tips (especially the e-book on the 3 month thesis) now as sort of a semi- bible- guide to do things more efficiently and it works!

    However, I have one major concern, as I am only now entering my 2nd year of the PhD, my major problem is finishing my experiments in time, so it is more of the doing process than the writing process, in fact I have come to the realization that when it comes to writing I can manage quite well and actually that is the one thing I seem to be doing well, according to my supervisor, however, when it comes to thinking of creative ways to set up my experiments and initiating the process I am actually quite slow and less progressive. currently, I am at a complete halt in this very process.

    It would be nice if you also had a blog describing how to fast track through the experimental(testing phase)or how to design and initiate experiments efficiently and quickly.

    PS: Perhaps I need to explain to you that my experiments mostly involve designing serious games to test hypothesis in my domain, hence quite different from a more structured physical science approach such as Physics or chemistry. However any tips u can offer on fast tracking the experimentation (creativity phase ) would be very much appreciated :)

    Thanks again!

  29. Andra says

    Just a thought… You could use pdf instead of eps for the images. I never used eps, because i usually save my images in pdf anyway and didn’t want to convert them just for Latex, so i just used the package for pdf images. If you have the images in word you can easily turn them into pdf and usually the quality is good (great if u have adobe professional, but ok with other free / less expensive software too). I found that to be the best way to use images in my thesis. Images in bmp were never clear enough, especially if i used them at only a percentage of the column width, and since i had tons of composite images i usually had to use 0.4*\columnwidth. I never had that problem with pdf figures, they always looked great.

  30. Gemma Tombs says

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve just completed my third year and bought a write-up year, but have now moved to part-time with a full-time job. This is a great reminder that with dedication it can be done, and that sometimes “good enough” just has to suffice. Done is definitely better than perfect.

  31. Sha says

    Awesome advice!
    I had been following this blog for a while and the tips were extremely valuable in thesis writing. Thank you!
    Btw, I had a question. I’d like to graduate in June this year, so it means only have 3 months to complete the thesis (including adviser reading and all editing), I’m still in lab doing fabrication (cuz had a cool idea that will help finish the story of this thesis and I’m the last graduate student working on it) and I’m TAing for a quite demanding course also (for funding). With all these in mind, my question is LaTeX or Word?
    I have seen those two posts you had on this topic, and I can’t agree more that there is only one answer and it is LaTeX. However since all my reports had been in Word, now I have about 3 chapters of the thesis in Word and about a chapter or two in LaTeX. The plan was to transfer the word ones to LaTeX. But the issue is my thesis has myriad number of images (very little equations) and making .eps files out of images that are in word is a pain, it is time consuming, and reduces the quality of images drastically.
    So with all these in mind, shall I write the whole thesis in Word or LaTeX in your opinion?
    I’m very much panicking whether I will be able to finish on-time with all the lab/TA work and also need to write a journal paper these days, and the major two chapters of my fabrication and results are unwritten at the moment.
    I think if I had summer (for that I need to push the unhappy department and if they agreed, will have to tolerate the shame of answering friends that I won’t graduate in June), with that relaxed 3 extra months, I could write happily and calmly, and make the thesis very beautiful w/ LaTeX, now under time constraint I’m thinking maybe Word is the only way that can save me some time. Will it?

    And with your expertise, do you think I will be able to finish or shall I start pushing for summer?

    Really sorry about the long note. But I very much needed an expert opinion on this. Thank you!

    • jameshayton says

      Word or LaTeX… honestly, it really doesn’t matter that much. I would never go back to Word having used LaTeX for my 1st year report, but the most important thing is to just make a decision and stick to it.

      Re fabrication… decide how long you are going to spend doing it, THEN STOP. It is the only way, and if you ignore everything else I say on the blog, just follow that one thing. You have to let go!

      And whether you finish on time (i.e. before summer) is down to you. If you cut back on other commitments, and can write consistently every day, then of course it’s possible. On the other hand, who cares if the department are happy? If you are happy to spend the extra months working, and you think it’s the only way, then do it! Again, you just have to decide. But either way you’ve go to stop gathering new material at some point and go with what you have.

    • me and you says

      i just print-screen the images, paste into paintbrush, save in bmp file, then convert into eps.
      if there is somebody u trust who is willing to help do it, then it’ll save ur time.

      • jameshayton says

        Yeah, sometimes that will work… but sometimes the quality of the image in the pdf sucks. I wouldn’t use paintbrush though if there is any decent alternative!

        And sometimes there just isn’t a figure that illustrates exactly what you want to say. The figures are as important as the words, so it’s worth spending the time on them

  32. says

    “It is much, much easier to write when you know the raw material isn’t going to change.”

    Alas, this (point #4) is where I am struggling, and I’m not sure what I can do about it. My research efforts are rife with feedback loops between the calculating (the “research”) and explaining (the “writing”): I calculate something, try to explain it, realize that I needed to calculate something slightly (or entirely) different, after which I can explain it to a point but then get stuck on what I need to figure out (via calculating or explaining or a mixture of both) next, and so on. This makes it very difficult to set targets and be consistent (#6).

    The heartbreak after every failed target or deadline (#2) has led to much stress (#1), which I’m still working on figuring out. All I know so far is the first step is to notice when I am avoiding my work, and then to actively choose to calm myself in a way that lets me continue work. But both parts of that are hard, because I seem to be quite clever in finding “useful” ways to procrastinate, and I also seem to be perpetually in denial of my stress. Also, when I do notice my stress, it’s because it is so strong that it is difficult to face directly, even after attempts at calming myself. But I what you say you did for stress might help me out a lot too, especially because I keep telling myself I need to take more walks. :)

    Fortunately, I am getting pretty good at #3, #8, #9 and #10, and my home office and starting-work ritual (for #5 and #7) are awesome. One thing that helps me get going each day is journalling: I review the last day’s journal entry, which had summarized work from the day before and also set me up with directions to investigate or questions to tackle that day; then I review my efforts on answering those questions, summarize how that went, and journal my way towards figuring out what to do next. Summarizing at the end of the day is sometimes useful, but more often I like the clearheadedness of morning for that task, because it can help me see whether a particular line of investigation was not going to turn out helpful after all.

    Anyways, thanks for this article, because it is reminding me of some of the things that I am doing well, in addition to the few aspects I can make better. I might just have to continue to deal with the inherent uncertainty in the line between research and writing, but it might work out anyways if I am careful to attend to all the other things I can control more easily.

    • jameshayton says

      The problem you have with calculating, writing and recalculating is that you’re trying to do both at the same time. FORGET about writing, just sit and think about what your calculation means. If you go straight to writing, you are skipping a crucial step in the analysis.

      Give the analysis the time it deserves, including thinking and explaining to other people what you think it means. Writing is the last thing you should do, and only when you have well thought out analysis to deliver.

      • says

        Thanks for this thought. Now I’m wondering if I know of any other way to analyze other than to write!

        It’s very possible that, when everything is finally figured out, I’m going to have to start from scratch and rewrite in a much more clear way. Maybe my analyzing-as-I-go is not something the examiners are going to want to read anyways. But then again, one of my research goals is to demonstrate the ease of the mathematical approach in deriving and explaining the ideas, so some of the “figuring” is crucial. Maybe I won’t know how much will need to be written, not until I’m done getting through the figuring.

        I have come to conclude (by analyzing myself, through the writing of this comment) that it’s best for me to continue as I have been going, because my advisor didn’t seem concerned by my approach when I handed in the first two parts of my work for his perusal of my ideas. If I do end up having to rewrite parts, then so be it, but I need something written (and the corresponding ideas figured out in full) before I can rewrite it (and/or re-figure out ideas).

        So, mine may not end up being a 3-month thesis, but the tips I’m absorbing from this site will help me minimize the wasted time in many other ways, I’m sure. :)

  33. says

    Great advice. I especially like the bit about editing as you go along because it’s something I’ve never been able to do. I tend to segregate editing and writing. It works for me, but it probably means I produce more drafts as a result. Ultimately I probably have to write a lot more as well to compensate for what I cut out when editing. I think both approaches have their merits, but I’m certainly going to try editing as I go along.

  34. Tom says

    Great tips. I think these could be applied to lots of different types of project. The idea of moving ahead with what you have rather than endlessly gathering new material is a really important point.

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