Dear Diary… I have to tell you something...
I… am a master procrastinator.
I didn’t realize that up until I was in my 6th year of grad school. My mind is a trickster and I was its slave.
Disturbingly, that made me feel proud of myself. Guess racing against time had become a habit I never realized.
Of course, I use to make it on time for my classes… but at what cost?
And lastly, not being able to even manage myself had always been a hilarious conversation that started in front of the whole class every morning.
See, in life, we tend to repeat our behavior if there are no consequences to it. From telling ourselves that there is ample time to complete a task or that sweet 5 more minutes of sleep are guilty pleasures that have their effect later down the road.
And my road wasn’t that far along. I came face to face with my consequences when I realized that I haven’t done my thesis yet…
That cost me 6 more months of grad school you know… Those precious “5 more minutes mom”…
Better late than never I started to sum up the strength to start writing my thesis. It was a tough journey, dear diary. But I made it.
So here I am noting down these 7 hacks in my diary to keep in mind, that these hacks not only helped me complete my thesis on time but made me a better person in the process.
One of the most important things I learned from my procrastination is that we are not in control.
Instead of controlling our thoughts and mind we are being controlled by them. This had a toll on me when I was writing my thesis as well.
Constantly drifting into my overthinking habits of trying to figure out how my supervisor would react to my paper always kept me off balance.
See you have to own what you do, don’t let your supervisor be the judge of your hard work. It’s yours, own it and decide for yourself whether your thesis is worth publishing or not.
A slight shift in your attitude can bring drastic changes in what you are doing
I use to believe that if I multi-task I would finish my thesis faster. And that’s exactly what I did for 2 months. Only to realize that I hadn’t made the slightest of progress.
Sometimes you have to let things go, if Tarzan didn’t leave one vine to leap towards the other he wouldn’t have moved forward. The same goes for your thesis writing. Don’t think that you can wrap up chores and your thesis both at the same time.
Stop and take a few hours out of your day and focus on writing only.
The biggest mistake that I was making while writing my thesis was being afraid of making a mistake.
This fear made me backtrack my paper more than once just to correct things that didn’t need to be. Sometimes I would spend hours just to find a proper synonym for a word that I felt like it didn’t belong.
So stop, take a breather and find a thesis you can model after
For a master of procrastination like me, this was the first time. Trying to get a hold of myself and binding to rules was the toughest thing to do. But it was equally necessary.
I remember writing 3 lines in 45 minutes because I was lost in my thoughts and would lose track of what I was doing. I even tried looking for dissertation writing service the UK
I needed a guide. Someone or something that would help me manage time.
And what better than a stopwatch. So, I started to keep a stopwatch next to me when I sat down to write. My total time was 4 hours to write E.V.E.R.Y S.I.N.G.L.E D.A.Y.
I divided it into time into 4 parts, one hour research, one hour brainstorm, one-hour writing and one hour correcting.
I was religiously following this schedule. Even if one of my tasks wasn’t completed in the specified time I would move onto others and do as much as possible.
Being so lost into writing my thesis I forgot I had a life outside of my school. This started to have its toll on me. I was slowly and gradually losing my motivation and soon my room had become a prison where I would be the jailer and force myself to work. Even though the work progress was moving forward it started to lack quality now.
Remember no matter how rigorously you start to follow a lifestyle always leave room for a little change.
I am an over-thinker as I wrote above. This was a hurdle I had to cross no matter what.
Overthinking is simply having the fear of something so absurd that would never actually happen. So, as I was already in a battle with myself I dialed it up a notch.
I started to frequently ask for feedback on my work from my supervisors, teachers, and friends. I honestly started to do this so I could stop overthinking but it turned out to be very helpful in writing my paper.
We always assume that if its introduction must be done first. I had the same though. See, the point 6th that I mentioned above? The value feedback one? That helped a lot. As soon as I showed my work to my supervisor
She immediately asked me “why had I written the intro first”
Yes, the intro is the beginning of any thesis. But that’s for the reader, not me. For me, the intro is the summary of my work, and that is only possible after all the work is done.
It’d been quite sometime dear diary, and I am doing well now. I am through being a procrastinator and I have changed from a girl full of excuses to a girl full of reasons.
Had it not been that awful afternoon on the couch that made me realize what I was doing with my life. I think I would not have had you to talk to. So this is me signing off for the day dear diary, I hope to see you again tomorrow.