The Modern Language Association (MLA) writing style is the one most often used by academia, and departments will insist dissertations follow the rules set up by the MLA for both writing and formatting. A student has to appreciate that using the standardized rules can make it easier for publishing and dissemination of work. It is not some form of academic kabuki. Staying current with the writing guidelines can prevent mistakes that would cause the dissertation to be thrown back for revision.
There are other writing guidelines that MLA requires in order to deliver a professional dissertation copy for reading and review. What you should do is take a very careful look at the direction supplied by the department. By all means take a deep breath after you read the instructions. The writing guidelines are not as formidable as you may first believe them to be. You have to follow them but it is worthwhile.
As mentioned earlier, standardization along MLA guidelines makes the entire process so much easier. A faculty advisor or academic committee may be looking at dozens of dissertations in a given semester. These could be 50 pages or more to read. It is in addition to the other research theses and papers that need to be looked at. One benefit is that the final result is a very professional look. It can make you feel very proud of all the effort you put in to that lengthy bit of academic work.
As you work on your project you should have goals in place to motivate you to finish in a timely manner. As you complete parts of your work you are getting closer to finishing your work according to your schedule. Maybe you can entice yourself to finish sooner if something was waiting for you upon completion. Make it something fun and enjoyable. It helps if it is something you may not usually enjoy. Make things interesting to encourage yourself to finish faster. You can at least consider trying to get your work done a week or so before your deadline.