Thursday, November 26, 2009

On procrastinating

I’m a good student. Really, I am. The problem is I’m an even better procrastinator. If it can be delayed, I’ll delay. If I can do something else before sitting down to write my thesis, I’ll do that. It doesn’t matter so much what this other thing is – I’ve been known to avoid thesis writing for such various activities as playing Solitaire, writing blogs (duh…), reading fiction, going to the library, making tea, alphabetizing my books, drinking coffee, polishing my laptop, refilling my water bottle, check out the Facebook profiles of people I went to high school with but haven’t spoken to since, going to the bathroom (about time after all the tea, coffee and water), organizing the post-its with very important things I need to remember, and then making another cup of tea (I love tea). Did I mention this was only today...?

Spending so much time on all these other activities, it doesn’t matter much how good a student I am – as long as I don’t get anything done, I’m accomplishing zero. Therefore I constantly try telling myself that I need to stop doing these other things, or at least limit the amount of time I spend doing them, and instead WRITE.

It’s easier than it sounds. And because it is so easy, I have unwavering faith that I will be able to do it – later.

Today I arrived at the university at 8.30. I opened the document with the chapter I am currently working on at 11.10. Then I wrote one sentence before I got lost in pondering what colour of nail polish best will accompany the dress I am wearing to next week’s kandidatfest (a celebration that takes place at the end of each semester, to honour those who have finished their thesis – meaning the ones that at some point stopped procrastinating). After thinking about this for a while (I’m leaning towards neutral or pink) I went back to my scheduled procrastinating before realizing it was time for lunch. By the time I got back to my patiently awaiting chapter, I only had about an hour left before I have to leave (due to other commitments – I have an appointment to go purse-shopping for the previously mentioned kandidatfest). Consequently I sat down and wrote this instead of the chapter.

What can I do, then, in order to take back control of my own time, and spend it on what I need (and deep down want) to do, instead of the postponing activities? Quitting procrastinating clearly is not an option, seeing as I keep putting it off... My theory is that I need to find something else that I dread even more than writing my thesis, so that I can put that off instead, and procrastinate with writing in the meantime. Brilliant as this plan is, it has a slight flaw: I have yet to discover what is horrible enough to do the trick. I have tried obvious options such as laundry, cleaning, doing dishes and so on, but they are not overwhelming enough to tempt me to instead churn out some 120 pages of hardcore academic discussion.

Suggestions are welcome!


Mason Canyon said...

If you find something that works, please share. I'm bad about putting things off until the last minutes.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Mason Canyon said...

Cruella, my brain just woke up and I realized you probably don't celebrate Thanksgiving so I wish you a sunny day, filled with happiness, joy and laughter.

Cruella Collett said...

Mason - You're right - we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Norway, but I really wish we did. It sounds like a wonderful holiday. Hope you, and everyone else celebrating, are having a wonderful time :)
(And we did have some sun here today - which is something of a treat since we both suffer from bad weather and few hours of daylight at this time of year)

Related Posts with Thumbnails