I think this is a really good idea. :) And I totally agree that just getting started with 15 minutes often leads to longer, but going into it knowing that you have to do a larger amount (whatever that larger amount may be) may lead people to not even bother starting because of expectations about not finishing.
I have changed the team goal to 15 minutes of any kind of work on the dissertation, rather than 30 minutes per day. Ideally, I would still like to aim for 30 or more, but I think making it 15 will mean that we have more chance of succeeding at it. I have found that often giving it that 15 minutes ends up leading to more time spent on it.
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