Hello from I-want-to-write
I am a PhD student in my late twenties and I have always been a chronic procrastinator. Writing the doctorate, somewhat unsurprisingly, has exacerbated the issue to an extend that I can no longer avoid it.
It is the only thing which is stopping my progress and I find it incredibly frustrating that I cannot cope with it by just getting on with the work. Anyway, this site has already been incredibly useful - the discovery of thinking about procratination as an addiction and the idea of working in short bursts have saved my last chapter.
As I stare into the abyss of the next mammoth piece of writing, I only hope that I can get better at dealing with it over time. It is honestly one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. The funny thing is, I actually really like writing and I love my subject.
Thanks for reading and hello again!
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Hello I wantowrite
A word of encouragement from an ex-postgrad, well a Dr actually. Even though I still battle with procrastination - I did get there eventually and so will you, especially if you continue to love your subject. In the end mine came together almost organically.
Why, thank you Dr Mole!
Very reassuring to know there is light at the end of the tunnel and you are the first person who said that the thesis can come together 'almost organically'. Fingers crossed it will happen for me as well.
Hello i-want-to-write I
I too am doing a phd in a subject that I love...but I find it so hard to write and to investigate / research as I need to do!
Part of my problem stems from the wrongly held belief that it needs to be perfect. That I have to be the expert and brilliant. This of course comes with time but another problem I have is that I rush things..think that I should be better faster than it will actually take..that I have to spend hours and hours cramming work into as small as space of time as possible. Of course this is not possible and so make the thought of work miserable.
I am very happy to chat with you if you would like
Thanks for writing to me. Ah, the old perfectionism and the urge to cram in impossible amount of work into an impossibly short time. I know it well and I see it in my PhD friends all the time, but somehow it does not make it any easier to avoid doing it myself over and over again. Which year are you in? Do you have a community of scholars around? I find it helps a bit.
I think my main problem is still time-bingeing, but I am not sure anymore.
Still have a lot to do today, so will have to run.
Thanks for writing to me again!
Hi thanks for your
Hi thanks for your reply.
I am in my first year..I'm officially doing it part time but I have the time to spend more than part time on it..which of course makes me feel bad that I'm not doing more and not taking advantage of the time / resourses that I have.
Part of the reason I am doing it part time and not full time is that I am self funding and it makes the fees half the cost but I don't have to spend twice as long on it if that makes sense.
I very rarely go in to campus, I study from home so there is no community at all to be honest. There wouldn't be that much community in at the campus either to be fair.
It has been a rough year with some issues with the focus of my topic and to be honest a bit of lack of support from my supervisors but such is the process I guess. At least I have taken on board that some of the delay / mess is not my doing and is the fault of others...in the past I would have blamed myself and got depressed so at least that is something! I have learnt that others make big mistakes too and that they aren't perfect so why should I!Of course that is easier said than done.
Time binging is a big problem for me too..what I want is to be able to work consistently over the weeks at a nice steady space. But of course what happens is that I do very little for a month and then binge for a week which is anxious, miserable and I hate it..pressure..nerves ..bitterness and resentment that I could have done this bit by bit over last few weeks instead of cramming.
I am going to try working in 30min blocks with an alarm...even just doing 30mins a day is more than i may have done the day before.. I have found in the past that once I get going I am okay and often play a little game of trying to do more than i did yesterday. Over a week it can mean 30 mins on monday and 3 hours on friday.
I need to get out of the belief that unless I am miserable then I am not working hard enough
This can be enjoyable right?
Can you enjoy the PhD?
I loved this description of the PhD experience:
Yes, I certainly
hope so. I am in the middle of a writing frenzy and I still do get anxious
about the process of writing, but from what I have learnt in the last 3 years:
- it is
incredibly satyfiying to work on a project of your own choice and carry on
learning, when most adults your age had to get full-time jobs
- you gain a new
perspective on your subject, yourself and others around you
- teaching is
fantastic and you really get to appreciate how the experience gained in your
projects helps others gain different perspectives
Overall I do find it enjoyable, but it is a very different kind of enjoyment I was anticipating when
I first started.
Through trail and error I
keep finding new ways of overcoming procrastination and then procrastination
overcomes them for me ;). I learnt to
enjoy the roller-coaster of emotion as well – if you cannot beat them, etc.
Very best of luck with
the project, I would recommend going to seminars and conferences as often as
you can. My PhD friends are my lifeline, they really get the process the way
that others just do not, despite their best intentions.
what i find hard at the
what i find hard at the moment and one reason why i'm not really enjoying it is that I constantly feel like what I am doing is not good enough..this make actually wanting to sit down and work on it even harder.