Thursday, December 30, 2004


It's a quarter past noon and I still haven't started dissertation work. I am, in fact, still in my PJ's and with a cup of tea in front of me.
What have I accomplished today? Not too much, scholarly-wise.
I did get some help from my husband on my paper for the Very Important Conference I'm speaking at next week. I'm nervous about the paper, so it was good for him to read and listen to it, look at my slides and add some input.
But even working on that lecture is procrastination.

After reading Pork's post on procrastination, I do realize that I am just looking for "busy work," something that makes me look like I am doing something worthwhile, but in the end is not really necessary. I have a couple of methods of "creative procrastination," like scanning things for my slide collection and organizing those slides, updating my CV, or ordering books from ILL.

I usually feel resistance toward my dissertation, especially when I am starting a new section. I feel it when I've been on a break and I feel it when I'm right in the thick of it. So I don't really know the solution other than fighting that urge to just goof off and sit down and work. Rather than using the one-minute rule mentioned in the article, I usually give myself 20 minutes. I can do just about anything for 20 minutes. Usually by the time the 20 is over, I'm already in a state of concentration that is silly to break. I don't quite get into Flow, but I do get on a roll. Sometimes I even set a kitchen timer to force myself to sit down and work for 20 little minutes.

Okay, my plan is to get a bit organized around my desk, have lunch and then do a good 20 on the painting chapter. Hopefully the 20 will turn into a couple of hours.


Blogger Porkorama said...

I came across that guy's flow theory my first year in grad school (unconnected to school) and I hadn't thought about that until you mentioned it! Thanks. The funny thing is my boyfriend at the time and I would talk about flow all the time...except we called it "being in the groove," and finding that book was like a strange synchronicity experience for me...which kind of works with the whole flow thing, IMO.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Francesca said...

"That guy's" (no one can ever pronounce that name!) Flow theory is really interesting, but I'm usually distressed that I rarely--if ever--achieve a state of Flow when dissertating. I've felt it while playing sports and doing other stuff, but never while doing "real work."

8:49 PM  
Blogger Porkorama said...

Same here...well, except for the sports part. Heh heh.

10:43 PM  
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6:34 PM  

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