Tag Archives: Dissertation

Unclutter Your Life - TCC Episode 38unclutter_image

Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busywork. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!
~ Og Mandino, Author and Motivational Speaker

Today's Episode

  • Unclutter Your Life
  • Tools and Apps to Help Unclutter Your Life
  • 4 Ways to Unclutter Your Life

Unclutter Your Life

We all have 24 hours in a day. Uncluttering your life doesn't only mean the mess on my desk but also the mess in my mind. Three areas where I found clutter:

  • Physically - my weight, writing, office, and car
  • Mentally - focused thought and personal development
  • Spiritually - prayer and meditation

I recommend Tim Ferriss' The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, which helped me figure out just how to unclutter my life and get the most out of 24 hours.

Og Mandino said it best, "We need to make room for when life throws us a real challenge." You never know what life will bring and having an uncluttered life could help. I used to think I had to do everything. I used to waste time just figuring out what I had to do and when I had to do it by. I found a few tools to help along the way.

Tools and Apps to Help Unclutter Your Life

  1. Calendar - I still use an old school calendar for tracking what I need to do. I use electronic calendar primarily for reminders. I work on my schedule at the end of each month.
  2. Evernote - Some apps are hard to imagine working without. Evernote is one of those for me. It’s my digital diary, note taker, research depository, and so much more. It’s allowed me to jot down ideas, track websites, work on my podcast show notes, and taking notes in meetings or conferences.
  3. Dropbox - Dropbox is another of those apps I won't work without. I got tire of losing jump drives or not synchronizing the information between computers. Dropbox saved my presentation in Thailand because I was able to log on and download it.
  4. Keynote - I use Keynote for all my presentations (especially for my dissertation), vision board, and organizing writing projects. It’s intuitive, very functional, and fun to use.
  5. Scrivener (Mac) (Windows) - I use Scrivener for all my novel, screen, and dissertation writing. It allows me to turn outlines into books with index card view. There are templates for all types of project formats.

4 Ways to Unclutter Your Life

  1. Keep workspace clean
  2. Meditation and Prayer
  3. Schedule a specific time to checking email, regular mail and social media.
  4. Make time to play


Ferriss, T. (2011). The 4-hour workweek: Escape 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich.

Help Other People Everywhere

Less than 30 days to help keep the St. Martin De Porres House of Hope going into the future.

My goal is to sell 10,000 boxes of coffee in January to help raise most of if not all the $40,000 needed to keep their doors open. Buy 3 or 4 boxes at WantMyCoffee.com. 80% of all profits will be donated to the St. Martin De Porres House of Hope.


House Of Hope-1
A Visit to the Last House on the Block ~ Carol Marin, Chicago Sun-Times



Brainstorming: TCC Episode 28brainstorm_diagram_new

Today's Episode:

  • Brainstorming
  • Questions Yourself
  • Brainstorming Exercises

Brainstorming (2014) is the pondering of ideas in order to come up with a solution, a new book idea, overcoming writers block, or finding your brand. I like brainstorming ideas for screenplays, novels, or dissertation or podcast ideas. I find it fun and easy to do. I've even brainstormed this podcast.

Brainstorming this podcast. I worked with Dave Jackson, of the School of Podcasting, and Erik K. Johnson, your Podcast Talent Coach. We looked at my passion of personal development, hypnosis and coffee. Then we looked at my challenges as an online student working on my PhD.  I wanted to find connections with my other classmates, instructors and like minded people like you. That's how The Coffee Couch was born.

Question Yourself

The questions that were the starting point for my podcast:

  • Who is my audience? I chose graduate students in their 40s to 50s. I came up with that by googling the average age o of online students about 35 to 40. I wanted to include people my own age who started later than most. I think of my fellow classmates in my dissertation cohort when I record.
  • What do I know? I know about online learning, social media, personal development, hypnotherapy, the dissertation process, and coffee.
  • What am I passionate about or love? I passionate about making a difference and helping others. I want to see you succeed.
  • What does my audience love? I started looking at statistics from the hits to blog posts. I found that my information on the dissertation writing, personal development and coffee got the most views.  That is still a mystery. Let me know what you're passionate about?

Brainstorming Exercises

  1. Subscribe to Blogs or Podcasts: Find our what others are thinking about what you're passionate about.
  2. Funnel Approach: Take a broad topic, Start narrowing it down, keep tightening until you have a specific topic.
  3. Put ideas in a hat: Take small pieces of paper, write your ideas on each one (no limit), and then pull out 3. Write those 3 ideas in a notebook or your journal. See what you get.
  4. Get together with your mastermind group: Sit down with friends, instructors, writers group, or even your family They might not get what you're working on but you never know what will come up.


Brainstorming. (2014). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brainstorming


Dave Jackson: http://schoolofpodcasting.com

Eik K. Johnson: http://podcasttalentcoach.com

Black to Gold with Shane Morand: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/black-to-gold-shane-morand/id722696033?mt=2

K.M. Weiland: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/

Michael Hyatt’s: This is Your Life Podcast

Writing Excuses Podcast: http://www.writingexcuses.com/


FreeMind: http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Srapple: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scapple.php



Scholar-Practitioner Mindset: TCC Episode 25

Today's Episode:

  • Project 10K
  • Scholar-practitioner
  • Positive Social Change
  • My Research
  • Scholar-Practitioner Mindset

Project 10K

Project 10K is a fundraising project to raise $10,000, through coffee, for Lurie's Children Hospital and other Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to Help Save Kids Lives! For every box of coffee, tea, or any of our products at ExtraLifeCafe.com, 100% of the profits will be donated to Extra-Life!

What is a scholar-practitioner

Walden University's (2014) goal is to help students become scholar-practitioners by challenging them to integrate scholarly research with their own expertise as skilled practitioners in their fields. In other words, research what you do in your field of work or industry by creating improvements in your field or positive social change. My field of study is social media, hence the podcast. I want to improve student retention rates.

What is Positive Social Change

Walden University (2014) defines positive social change as a commitment to improving the human and social condition by creating and applying ideas to promote the development of individuals, communities, and organizations, as well as society as a whole. I am committed to changing social conditions in graduate studies either online or traditional by bridging the gap between brick-and-mortar and click-and-mortar.

My Research

Exploring the Impact of Social Media on Student Retention in Graduate Programs: A Delphi study

  • Forecast trends in
    • Social media (Connectedness)
    • Student retention (Persistence)
    • Graduate studies
  • Connectedness
  • Persistence

Scholar-Practitioner Mindset

  1. You are the expert
  2. Make Improvements in your field or industry
  3. Create Positive Social Change


Walden University. (2014). Introduction. Walden University Catalog. Retrieved from http://catalog.waldenu.edu/content.php?catoid=106&navoid=27845

Simon, M. K., & Goes, J. (2013). Dissertation & scholarly research: Recipes for success. (2013 ed.). USA: Dissertation Success, LLC.


Coffee and Positive Social ChangeThe Coffee Couch Logo

I know a few people in Africa that have been affected by the Ebola and friends who have come back to the states not affected. I understand the severity of the epidemic and see the government’s reaction to it by restricting travel in and out of West Africa, as well as setting up facilities to treat the disease. This also means that health organizations and hospitals need to create and implement strategies to contain and treat patients (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). I like to think outside the box and look at alternatives, which is why I'm excited to own my own healthy coffee business.

My coffee company, Organo Gold, just opened up in Nigeria and the response to having Ganoderma Lucidum, infused in the coffee, helping many people has been overwhelming. Nyishar (2013) suggested that Ganoderma is an adaptogen and has many health benefits, especially helping the immune system as well as many health benefits like cancer. I am glad that the herb in my coffee is helping people feeling better from the effects of Ebola. The study I would like to see happen is to see what the actual effects that this miraculous king of herbs could do against it.

It is amazing what an impact on social change that could make. Not only would it help with health but also add to economic growth. It has made a difference in my life by no longer taking allergy medicine and losing almost 80 pounds, as well as providing a source of residual income. Organo Gold is all about creating positive social through personal development and helping people change their money. Who knew coffee and positive social change went together!


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, October 27). Interim U.S. Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Potential Ebola Virus Exposure. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/monitoring-and-movement-of-persons-with-exposure.html.

Morand, S. (2012). What is ganoderma? Retrieved from http://www.evictorynews.com/what-is-ganoderma/

Nyishar, P. (2013). Health Benefits Of Reishi Mushroom. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm33bzTa8u4.


Organo Goldhttp://wantmycoffee.organogold.com

Tools for the Scholarly Journey: TCC Episode 22writing tools

By Daniel Hansen

Today's Episode

  1. Project Management
    • Microsoft Project
    • Microsoft Outlook - Tasks Feature
  2. Editing
    • Grammarly
    • WhiteSmoke
  3. Citations and References
    • Citation Machine
    • EndNote
    • Zotero
  4. Productivity
    • Dragon Naturally Speaking
    • Scrivner
    • Copernic Summarizer
  5. Collaboration
    • Dropbox
    • Google Drive
    • Skype
    • FreeConferencing.com
  6. Tools
  7. Books

Project Management

Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project delivers a visually enhanced way to effectively manage a wide range of projects and programs. Each milestone at Walden can be captured to help you be more productive and visualize your path.

Microsoft Outlook - Tasks Feature

Consider Tasks as your To-Do list. As you work on Tasks in your list, you can update the percentage of work done on each project.



Grammarly is an automated grammar and writing revision tool for academic writing. Grammarly will not edit your work for you; it is up to you to incorporate Grammarly's feedback and decide what suggestions are most appropriate.



WhiteSmoke corrects and enhances your English writing. It allows you to perform advanced grammar checking, style checking, and spell checking on your texts, in a single click.


Citations and References

Citation Machine

Citation Machine uses an easy to use 3 step process to create your citations, 1) Choose your style, 2) Search, and 3) Edit and Create. Citation Machine helps you properly credit the information that you use in your research.



EndNote for Windows and Apple is a valuable all-in-one tool that integrates your references into one program. EndNote searches databases on the Internet and organizes all your images, PDFs and other files as you write.



Zotero is reference management software. Zotero is used to manage bibliographies and references when writing essays and articles. Works with Mozilla FireFox.



Dragon Naturally Speaking

Tell your computer what you want to do, such as "Delete line," "Copy that," or "Open Microsoft Word," and Dragon will complete the task. The Dragon Sidebar lets you see helpful voice commands and tips at anytime without interrupting what you’re doing. You can also convert voice file to text.



Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allow you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents, including the dissertation and . While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.


Copernic Summarizer

Copernic Summarizer analyzes text and creates a document summary as short or as long as you want it to be. Simply drag a file, text selection, or hyperlink onto the Floating Bar bar and it will be summarized quickly and easily. When you insert a website link, Copernic Summarizer is able to summarize the page according to your specifications. A file (word, pdf, etc.) can be inserted as well. Copernic Summarizer is able to summarize the page according to your specifications




Store your stuff anywhere. Free 2 GB of drive space. Easy to share files.


Google Drive

Store and Share your files. Free 25 GB of storage. Easy to share files.



Calling, seeing, messaging and sharing with others – wherever they are.



Free full-featured conferencing. Call, see, message and share with others


Technical Toys


Dissertation And Scholarly Research: Recipes for Success: A Practical Guide to Start And Complete Your Dissertation, Thesis, or Formal Research Project by Marilyn K Simon Ph.D. and Jim Goes Ph.D.

The Dissertation Journey: A Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Planning, Writing, and Defending Your Dissertation by Carol M. Roberts

Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral by Joan Bolker

Mastering Your PhD: Survival and Success in the Doctoral Years and Beyond by Patricia Gosling and Lambertus D. Noordam


Tools for Your Scholarly Journey

5 Cs of the Scholarly Way: TCC Episode 21henrydavidthoreau106041

Today's Episode

  • Mission to Save Kids Lives
  • What is the Scholarly Way
  • 5 Cs of the Scholarly Way

Mission to Save Kids Lives!

I'm on a mission to save kids lives. I need your help to support my son's efforts. Help Save Children's Lives by supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through Extra Life at http://danhansen.com/extralife. Go to http://WantMyCoffee.com and buy a box or two of coffee. ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO EXTRA LIFE!

What is the Scholarly Way

Scholarly (2014) is concerned with or related to formal study and/or research while posessing the characteristics of a scholar

Scholar (2014) is a person who has studied a subject for a long time and knows a lot about it.

The scholarly way is not only about having or showing knowledge, learning, or devotion to academic research but also living a way that promotes good health, faith, family, and displaying the 5 Cs of the scholarly way.

5 Cs of the Scholarly Way

  1. Curiosity - a keen sense of wonder, looking at life without filters, and seeing things in unusual ways
  2. Confidence - Know that you know. You are the expert and people will look to you as a leader.
  3. Courage - Have a fighter's mentality. Never give up attitude. Be Persistent.
  4. Commitment - Commit to the process no matter how long it may take. Keep your promise to yourself and others.
  5. Connectedness - Connect with mentors, instructors, students, and other scholars. You can do this through social media or reading scholarly articles and journals.


Scholar. (2014). Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scholar

Scholarly. (2014). Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scholarly

The Beginning of My Dissertation JourneyThe Maroon  Bells

It all started in 2005, while I attended DeVry working on my masters in Network and Communications Management with an emphasis in eCommerce. During that time, while I was working on my masters, a friend of mine, Ron born in Thailand, and I started translating the FDA handbook from English to Thai. We met at his computer store on the Southside of Chicago frequently. We completed the project at the end of 2006. The Thai government paid for us to go there as a thank you for doing this project.

My buddy had connections at a university there. Long story short, they invited me to share my knowledge from not only my masters degree but also one of my previous jobs programming touch screen kiosks. I gave four presentations, in Thailand, on network protocols, kiosk design, wireless communications, and teleconferencing at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi in Bangkok. It was because of this experience that I decided to get my doctorates degree. While there, I also consulted with the university on kiosk designs to be used for processing government forms filled out by citizens from the various provinces. It was exciting sharing my knowledge and expertise. Now I want to do more of it.

In 2008, I decided to enroll at Walden University where I am pursuing my Ph.D. in Applied Management and Decision Sciences with a specialization in Information Management Systems. As of the writing of this section, I’m in the proposal phase of the dissertation process. My Prospectus and Dissertation committee were approved by Walden. All my classes and KAMs have been completed which means I'm finally ready to get the dissertation done. Now the real journey begins.

Bolker (1998) suggested that you own your dissertation and responsible for getting it from conception to birth; you get there by whatever process works for you. It is by sharing my journey through the dissertation process and beyond, that I can help you get through yours. I am in service to you and will help any way possible.


Bolker, J. (1998). Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day: A guide to starting, revising, and finishing your doctoral thesis. USA: New York, NY.


The Scholarly Way: TCC Episode 20The Scholarly Way

Today's Episode

  • The Scholarly Way
  • Why I'm Writing It

The Scholarly Way

The Scholarly Way will be about how I'm making it through the dissertation process.

Area to be covered:

  • Best practices
  • Risks and risk mitigation
  • Personal development
  • Health
  • Faith
  • Family
  • Anything else I can think of that will help you.

Challenges I faced:

  • Learning style
  • Study habits
  • TIme Management

The Scholarly Way was inspired by The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life) by Chris Hardwick, Dissertation and Scholarly Research: Recipes for Success: 2013 Edition by Marilyn K Simon Ph.D. (Author), Jim Goes Ph.D. (Author), Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis by Joan Bolker, The Dissertation Journey: A Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Planning, Writing, and Defending Your Dissertation by Carol M. Roberts, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Other books that helped make this works possible: How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time by Nina Amir and Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should: Updated Second Edition by David Gaughran.

Why I'm Writing It

I have way too many book and screenwriting projects started and not finished. I'm also working on my dissertation. The dissertation was the primary reason for writing this book. I want to help students like me get through the PhD program and the dissertation process.

I plan on writing two or three posts a week, God willing. I don't see the book as a very long one, therefore  I'm hoping it won't take too long to finish it.

This will  be my first draft. I'm  not a professional editor, although I’ll be reading through each post at least once, doing a spellcheck, and then hit “publish.” If there are typos or grammatical errors, I’ll catch those later. That's what editors are for.

Special Thanks to:

Dr. Walter McCollum my Walden University mentor and dissertation chair

Dr. Antony Lolas of my dissertation committee

Marilyn K Simon for her expertise and support for research design

Dr. Latrice Walker for her mentorship outside Walden (Walden Graduate)

Dr. Brandon Hamilton for his mentorship outside Walden (DeVry University)

Those Who Encouraged Me to Launch this Project:

K.M. Weiland of the Helping Writers Become Authors Podcast for her support and guidance as a writer

Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn Podcast for her support and guidance as a writer

Nina Amir, author of the How to Blog a Book, for her book that made me seriously think about launching this book project.


5 Ways to Stay Motivated During the Dissertation Process: TCC Episode 19

Place this image in your mind to help with your motivation during the dissertation process.
Place this image in your mind to help with your motivation during the dissertation process.

Today's Episode:

  • My progress
  • Motivation During the Dissertation Process
  • 5 Ways to Stay Motivated

My Progress

Date: September 16, 2014

Name: Dissertation Writing

Topic: The Proposal

Milestones: Chapter 3 revisions

Summary: After coming back from a leave of absence, I'm on my second revision of chapter 3

Risk: Over thinking the process and getting stuck

Risk Mitigation Strategy: Meditation, work on a different section, and working on smaller chunks.

Project timeline: On Time

Committee Member: Dr. Walter McCollum & Dr. Anthony Lolas


Motivation During the Dissertation Process

Thanks to Dr. Walter McCollum, my dissertation chair and mentor, Drs. Latrice Walker and Brandon Hamilton, my mentors and friends, email and phone me increasing my levels of motivation during the dissertation process. I also found a writing support system face-to-face, with my fellow classmate and friend, Helen. She has been facing many of the challenges that I have, such as: family, work, and procrastination. I want to first congratulated her on her her milestones so far, completing KAM 6 and working on the application section of KAM 7. Hang in there!!!! We can do this!

Motivation is that desire or willingness from deep within us to do something (Hiam, 2002). In other words, dig deep and never give up. In our case, it is to get the dissertation done and graduate. How can you keep yourself motivated?

5 Ways to Stay Motivated During the Dissertation Process

5 Ways to Stay Motivated during the Dissertation Process (Simon and Goes, 2013; Bolker, 2010):

  • Meditate (complete stillness)
  • Take care of yourself
  • Visualize yourself completing the dissertation and graduation
  • Find a support system
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Like minded people
    • Blog or Podcast
  • Create relationships on social media
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook


Bolker, J. (1998). Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day: A guide to starting, revising, and finishing your doctoral thesis. USA: New York, NY.

Hiam, A. (2002). Motivational management. (p. 12). New York, NY: AMACOM Books.

Simon, M. K., & Goes, J. (2013). Dissertation & scholarly research: Recipes for success. (2013 ed.). USA: Dissertation Success, LLC.


Latrice Walker, Ph.D.: http://robinkelly.house.gov/media-center/blog-posts/constituent-spotlightlatrice-walker

Brandon Hamilton, Ph.D. - Hamilton's Solutions: http://hamiltonssolutions.intuitwebsites.com/

Walter McCollum, Ph.D. - McCollum Enterprises, LLC: http://www.mccollumenterprisesllc.com/1905782.html