How I Completed a Harvard Master’s Thesis Whilst Being a Wife, Mother, and Full-Time Employee!

Hint: I started at the spring and didn’t boil the ocean.

K. Joseph
5 min readNov 12, 2022


Photo by Danilo Rios on Unsplash

I am often asked how I completed a Harvard Master’s thesis as a wife, mother, and full-time executive. The answer is simple: time management, organization, and nagging family members. In this blog post, I will share some tips and tricks that helped me succeed.

  • Set Aside Time for Research, Writing, and Advisement
  • Get an Early Start or Flex At The Speed of Reality
  • Don’t Boil The Ocean, Until The End
  • Seek Help and Receive Support From Loved Ones
  • Take Breaks and Reward Yourself

1. Set Aside Time for Research, Writing, and Advisement

This is important: I set aside time each week for research and writing. I would block off four hours each Saturday and use that time to work on my thesis. This allowed me to stay focused and make consistent progress.

Then, during the week, I would meet with a volunteer at the writing center for an hour to work through sticking points from the project to date.

Finally, I would meet with my Thesis Director every two weeks to review her commentary on the segments I sent previously.

2. Get an Early Start or Flex At The Speed of Reality

Another important thing I wish I had done was to start my research and writing as early as possible. I was supposed to work on my thesis the summer before my final year of study, but work and life got in the way. I miscalculated the time it would take to complete the approval process for research involving human subjects. Then, the pandemic struck. I could not finish according to the original timeline.

So, I asked for an extension, recalibrated, and followed the path I shared above. The idea is: don’t stop; adjust and carry on.



K. Joseph

Change management leader sharing ideas and experiences that may help you navigate the world of work with your fellow humans.