The funny thing about procrastination is that almost everyone experienced it, but at the same time feels guilty thinking: “Everyone else is working really hard and I’m the only one procrastinate!”
Procrastination is something that most people do, although in a different level…
So accept that you are like everyone else! Most important realize that we are not perfect and accept it. Embrace your imperfection and instead of punishing yourself, try to understand yourself!
I am explaining later what I mean by “understand yourself”. The first step is to demystify procrastination!
Actually, I think it will make you feel better watching the following video! I really laugh a lot watching it! It’s called “Procrastination Help with Ellen DeGeners”.
Ok! Now that we demystified procrastination and we managed to laugh with this, let’s see how we can get over it!
I am not arguing that I will never procrastinate again and I am not sure if this is feasible for anyone.
My personal philosophy is that if I understand something then I will be able to manage it; I will develop myself both as a person and as a researcher. The application of my philosophy in procrastination is transformed in:
If I understand why I am really procrastinating, then I will be able to control my procrastination, instead of my procrastination controlling me. 🙂
Through out my PhD I have experienced many many times procrastination. One year ago I started analyzing why I was behaving like this. I noticed the usual patterns in my behavior towards my thesis and I started thinking what were the true reasons underlying my procrastination.
It was not the same reason each time, but various reasons underlie my procrastination. Some of them are:
- I stopped perceiving my thesis as something “I want to do” and I was viewing it instead as something “I had to do”. I didn’t feel any joy or pleasure on advancing on my PhD thesis.
- I was just lazy and preferred to go for coffee than staying inside and working on my thesis…
- I was feeling uncertain about my abilities as a scientist…
- I wanted to do something “really good” and consequently I never finishing it in order to make it even better.
- I didn’t had a good working plan.
My goal here is not to say another story of how and why I procrastinate. My goal is to share my story of:
how I understand the underlying reasons of my procrastination, and
how I succeed to stop procrastinating and re-finding the joy in doing research.
So in next posts I’ll present the underlying causes of my procrastination and the strategies I deployed to become productive again!
As we say in qualitative research, my findings regarding the underlying reasons of my procrastination are “context-specific” and what is the case for me doesn’t mean that is the case for everyone else.
However, you can observe the patterns that emerge and maybe you can start thinking about your own, true, reasons for procrastinating which will lead you to manage your procrastination and being productive! 🙂