Some caveats: I do not have any sort of formula or system, though my life would be far easier if I did. But then again, if you are in grad school--and especially if you are in the Humanities--then you are likely already imbued with a deep-seated suspicion of any and all attempts to reductively quantify and contain the expansiveness and diversity of the human experience. The last thing I want to do is write yet another Covey-esque management book, and I don't think you want me to write one either. Not only is there no formula, but you should embrace the fact that there is no formula; writing a dissertation is as messy as life is.
Moreover, most of what I will cover here you have either already heard before, or has independently occurred to you. Please therefore take these tips in the spirit they are intended, as a series of useful reminders and encouragement to keep going. (Few things irritated me more as a grad student than to be condescendingly lectured about, say, the awfulness of the job market, as though we didn't already know, as though we didn't need encouragement now more than ever.)
Yet even if I did try to set up a system, well, as John Lennon once sang, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. Just in this one year of dissertating, I moved 3 states west; got married; started adjuncting at a community college an hour from where I lived; my car was rear-ended; my laptop died (twice); the vacuum cleaner quit working; my wife and I took in a stray-cat that turned out to be pregnant; and etc. and etc. and etc. Now, none of these are necessarily big deals in and of themselves; some of them are even cause for celebration. But they are all the sorts of things that can cause you to lose whole days of writing at a time, to the point that a week can go by and you've accomplished nothing.
And I didn't even, say, get pregnant, like some of my classmates have; nor did anyone close to me suffer a life-threatening illness (at least not this year). Those are the sorts of things that really will disrupt your writing schedule, to say the least! Even if everything runs smooth, even if you are able to live a perfectly cloistered life, then (unless you have a rich family that hired you a butler) you will still have to do all the petty minutia of daily life: grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning the house, and so forth. Things are always going to come up and get in the way, no matter your best efforts. A lot of what I will be writing about is how to make the best of the time you do have leftover.
I should also make clear that, contrary to what some friends have assumed, I am not especially disciplined; I oversleep, I eat too much, I don't exercise enough. I am one of you, in other words; do not assume you need any greater self-discipline than you already possess to get this dissertation done in a year.
One last caveat before proceeding: The correct amount of time to spend on your dissertation is whatever amount of time is necessary to make it good. That will vary from project to project and person to person. This is not a race, nor will anyone think you are brilliant or gifted or whatever for finishing fast; at best, they'll think you're a drudge, and may even hate you a little bit. Your motivations for finishing in a year cannot, repeat cannot be egotistical--such is counter-productive and ultimately self-defeating, for reasons I will get into shortly. (What's more, the last thing we should be doing right now is giving the University administration yet another excuse to cut our funding packages.)
However, if you are worried about the precarity of your funding package next year--or a key member of your committee is retiring soon--or you are (like me) over 30 and simply sick and tired of being in school--or you are at a Midwest university and the corn fields are just getting to you--then I may have a few pointers that can be of some help.
The caveats out of the way, let us begin.
First, some nuts and bolts tips: The research article from your comprehensive portfolio should double as your first chapter. That saves you an enormous amount of work; there is no virtue in making things harder on yourself by writing everything from scratch. Work smarter, not harder.
If your program requires a prospectus (as mine did), then you need to start writing your second chapter at the same time as your write the prospectus. Though you are technically jumping the gun without permission, it is better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission--and besides, you're trying to finish in a year here.
Second, Outlines: An outline can take many forms. I personally hate to make detailed, structured outlines because they do not help me at all (though if they help you, then please, by all means, write one--do whatever it takes to get the dang thing written). Partly that is because I am often figuring out what exactly my argument is while I am actually writing it. However, I still do a primitive, brutish sort of outline just to get me started.
I begin my rough outline by gathering a bunch of articles and books, and then I extract relevant quotes, either by typing them out free-hand, or (if the pdf will allow it) copying and pasting. I group the various quotes together thematically. I go by the rule of halves: over half of all articles and books I skim through will turn out to be irrelevant and useless; about half of all the articles that are relevant will not make it into the final chapter; and at least half the quotes I extract into a word document will end up cut as well. There is no efficient way to do research, or to determine which books and articles will be relevant, so just embrace the inefficiency. (Learn to trust yourself, too; you can normally tell within a couple pages whether an article or book chapter is relevant or not).
Once I have arranged the quotes into the rough order I think they will appear in (full well knowing that I will be moving things around a lot later), I begin writing the connective tissue between all these quotes. Slajov Zizek once said that he actually hates to write, that the way he tricks himself into being so productive is by telling himself that he is just typing down thoughts and notes, until one day, voila, he has a manuscript. Do the same.
This brings me to a very important Third Point: You must learn to embrace what Anne Lammott calls "Shitty First Drafts". I am dead serious here, read her whole essay; I don't proselytize for much in pedagogy, but I absolutely proselytize Lammott's essay. I teach it to my freshmen.
Terrible first drafts are how you break out of the perfectionism inherent to graduate students. Other folks really do need to be told to get off their lazy keister and do something with their lives, but the sheer fact that you are a grad student speaks well of your innate ambition and drive. But ambition and drive can be good servants but terrible masters--they breed a debilitating perfectionism that prevents you from ever getting started, because you are filled with this horrible need to make your manuscript brilliantly perfect from the first draft. This, in my observation and experience, is what slows down grad students more than anything.
You have just got to shut off your perfectionist tendencies when you start writing. You have just got to give yourself permission--nay, encouragement--to write so horribly that, like Anne Lammott, "I'd obsess about getting creamed by a car before I could write a decent second draft. I'd worry that people would read what I'd written and believe that the accident had really been a suicide, that I had panicked because my talent was waning and my mind was shot". This all will result in an awful draft that is hell to revise; but, as you well know, it is always far easier to revise a terrible draft than to write a draft in the first place. Remember that. No matter how nightmarish the revisions are, it is still way easier than writing the draft from scratch in the first place, so just grind it out as fast as possible.
On the revisions: Once you have completed a terrible chapter draft, lay it aside and start writing the next chapter. That way, when you finally return to that chapter a few weeks later, you can read it with fresh eyes, as though it were written by someone else. Give yourself frequent breaks from your drafts, always try to read it with fresh eyes. Ideally, you stagger your chapter revisions apart, such that, though you are continually working on the dissertation as a whole, you are only looking at any single chapter once every few weeks.
Now to discuss the importance of writing continually: I don't know about you, but every time I begin a new writing project, it is preceded by an ungodly amount of procrastination. I can't tell you how many times I announced to my wife that I was going to sit down and write all afternoon, only for her to come by a half-hour later and catch me surfing Facebook and YouTube. It was embarrassing, but it was what I needed to work through in order to get to a place where I could finally force myself to write.
And as you know, every time you take more than a day or two break from writing, you have to get back into that mode again, and go through that whole time-sucking procrastination process once more. You must therefore make an effort to write at least once every day, to stay in that writing mindset. Even if your writing's terrible--especially if it's terrible--you must write constantly; because, as Lammott astutely observes, "Just get it all down on paper because there may be something great in those six crazy pages that you would never have gotten to by more rational, grown-up means. There may be something in the very last line of the very last paragraph on page six that you just love, that is so beautiful or wild that you now know what you're supposed to be writing about, more or less, or in what direction you might go--but there was no way to get to this without first getting through the first five and a half pages."
That also means setting stupid goals, of how many pages you are going to try to get through each day (but not beating yourself up when you inevitably fall behind); that also means being willing to cancel meetings, stand-up friends, ignore phone-calls, blow-off chores and commitments, if you ever get into a good groove. When we were still dating, my wife would call me sometimes to chat and I would just say, "I love you but I have to call you back later, I'm in a good groove and don't want to lose it."
Now, this is not a call to be irresponsible or anti-social (you need your friends now more than ever), just a reminder that when you get into a good groove, to do everything you can to ride it out as long as possible--because that groove doesn't come often, but when it does, you usually get more accomplished in those few hours than in entire days of forcing yourself. You put the groove first, and it will put you first--for the more you ride out those good grooves as long as possible, the more likely you are to have them.
On that note: pace yourself. Don't write all day. If you're not in the mood, don't force it. Take short, frequent breaks, so your eyes don't glaze over. Go on walks. Maybe set aside one day each week that you tell yourself that you will NOT work, to rest and recuperate. I'm religious so I take Sunday off (I ironically take that whole "day of rest" thing more seriously in grad school than I ever did as a kid in Sunday school), but it could be a different day for you; the point is that you have a day, you draw a line in the sand, where the outrageous demands of the world are not allowed to touch you.
Finally we get to the elephant in the room: the problem of motivation. You don't need need me to rehearse to you the awfulness of the current academic job market, or how few people will even read the finished dissertation. It is difficult to stay motivated in the face of such existential despair. We can talk all we want about becoming "self-disciplined," but let's face it, "self-discipline" is just a smarmy code-word for doing something you don't actually want to do--and more damning, don't really believe in, either. You don't need discipline when you are motivated. The problem is not one of discipline, but of motivation.
Therefore, make sure that what you write is something you actually care about, are passionate about, that you would want to talk about anyways even if you weren't getting school credit for it. Caring about it will also make you happier to write it, and paradoxically makes it more likely other people will actually read it voluntarily. So write your manifesto! Stick it to the man! You can tone it down later in your final drafts depending on your advisor's feedback, but for now, rant and rave (if ever there was a better year to do that than 2017...)
You may here protest that your dissertation is not particularly political; while mine, for example, examines how Irish and Latin American modernist literature utilizes tropes of remembering the dead as a form of decolonization and resistance, yours may be nowhere close to as explicitly political. Here I would remind you of Mikhail Bakhtin, the Russian formalist, who wrote The Dialogic Imagination whilst in exile in Kazakhstan; his fear was not about getting tenure, but of being shipped off to the gulags. In the face of such monumental oppression and injustice, what did Bakhtin choose to write about? The structure of the novel, of all things! He wrote about what he wanted to write about, no matter how brutal the political situation.
In fact, Deleuze and Guattari claimed in Anti-Oedipus that desire itself can be inherently politically destabilizing, especially when you determine what you desire, not a corporation or a government or the job market. Robert Pirsig argues something similar in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Proust in the final volume of In Search of Lost Time likewise describes a propulsive need he felt to create a work of art no matter the devastation of WWI. And as Doris Lessing stated simply, "Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible."
In short, when you write about what you want to write about, it is not only an act of genuine desire, but of resistance. It is how you find your motivation to finish what you started. May your own stubborn and liberating desire likewise to carry you through to the end--of not only your dissertation, but beyond.
I wish you way more than luck.