The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Persistence

One of the secrets of accelerating your progress toward your ultimate goal of earning a doctoral degree is to practice the 4 Ps.


I am not referring to Product, Price, Promotion, and Place, the 4 Ps of Marketing.


Rather, I am referring to an equally important list of Ps related to doctoral study—Planning, Persistence, Patience, and Participation.


In this article, I will discuss the second P—Persistence.


To complete your doctoral work expeditiously, you must be persistent. Doing something meaningful on your doctoral study every day (or as often as possible) is essential to gaining and sustaining momentum; and sustained momentum (the equivalent of running a marathon at a steady pace) is one of the secrets of completing a doctoral study in a timely and high quality manner.


In this regard, one tip I learned from the President of my university when I was a doctoral student that really served me well is to expect and manage what he called “bumps in the road.”


These bumps can take many forms, such as administrative snafus, technical problems, difficulties mastering doctoral research and writing, challenges related to balancing doctoral studies with other aspects of your life, illness, death in the family, and so on.


The secret is (a) to expect to hit these bumps in the road (which are inherently unpredictable), and (b) when one occurs to do everything you can to not let it derail your academic progress.


The alternative, which is to build each one into something larger than life, will make them seem more likely roadblocks than bumps, and will drain precious energy that you need to devote to your studies.


So, when you hit a bump in the road, do your best to take it in stride, refocus on your objective (of earning that coveted doctorate), and keep moving forward.


To learn more about the secrets to doctoral study success, read Student to Scholar and Dissertation Research.