Help, I’m procrastinating

blogpic, pixabay, stones, jar, flowers

Winter is here and for some reason, it’s so tempting to retreat into hibernation season.

Procrastination can happen at any season, but the cold and the rain are easy excuses for me not to come to campus to work. I asked some of my fellow students what they do to overcome procrastination and here’s what they said:

  • I saw this YouTube video and the technique was helpful for me. If you had a jar and had to fit in a few big rocks, medium stones, and sand to fit in: go head-on and tackle the big rocks first and fit in the small stuff around it. However difficult, I commit to working on the big rock tasks first no matter what.
  • It's a continuous struggle and an iterative process of refining work ethics. Moving back to old-school whiteboards, handwritten notes and early morning meditation worked for me, especially during the 2nd and 3rd years.
  • I don’t see procrastination as being inherently bad if you are able to get the work done. I stopped seeing procrastination as bad and try to avoid fighting it. Instead, I allow myself procrastination breaks in between focused work. Helped me anyway!
  • Take scheduled breaks and reward yourself when you accomplish milestones. These will fuel your productivity. You can’t keep going without any proper rest.
  • Plan your week with a calendar by blocking time slots that are designated for particular tasks. if you do this weekly (or even a month in advance) you will have a clear forecast of your workload and deadlines.
  • Online writing groups have honestly been my saviour! I can’t recommend them enough, especially @ThePhDPlace and @PhDForum.
  • Any work is some work. Also, I don't wait to have motivation for work to get started. Rather, I just start and motivation usually follows.
  • Move on to something you feel more enthusiastic about doing then go back so you don't end up paralyzed and wasting time.

Personally, I’ve found that lately if I really can’t write or even bear to read another journal article, I acknowledge that I may either be tired and need a breather – or that my motivation is needing a bit of a top-up. For that, all I really need to do is recall all the reasons why I applied for this in the first place. Despite the struggle, I am grateful for it.

Tagged in What messes with your head, Productivity, phd, study