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To ask if anyone else self sabotages with constant procrastination when it comes to studying?

(234 Posts)
NickiFury Sat 03-May-14 16:04:25

I've two essays due in by next Thursday. They are finals, so important and yet I have just twatted around for weeks, they'll get a passing mark, they always do but probably not nearly as good as it could have been. I've exams next month, again I will pass most likely but not nearly as well as I could have done.

I love the subject and achieving a degree means a huge amount to me (no encouragement or possibility as a child or teenager), I will always regret this if I screw it up, it's my last chance really, got transitional fees with the OU. I won't be as educated as I could be even if I pass simply because I couldn't be arsed.

So WHY? WHY? Do I do this? I have two autistic children, home educating one of them and am a single parent, it's hard, once they've gone to bed, I'm so knackered I just want to veg in front of the TV, but with self discipline I could easily find the time. Is anyone else like this? and if anyone could explain the psychology behind it that might help.

DrainPhobic Sat 03-May-14 18:18:50

Yes, me too. Place marking to read later and hopefully find the miracle cure!

OddBoots Sat 03-May-14 18:22:58

Are any of us on the same modules? I'm on S294 and S377 at the moment.

popperdoodles Sat 03-May-14 18:26:47

another one here who should be essay writing. once I get started and into it I will be fine but right now it just feels too bigger task. it's too late in the day to worry about it today. I will do it tomorrow I promise

NickiFury Sat 03-May-14 18:28:13

I'm on ED209 and E212. Any pointers on the last TMA's would be gratefully received wink.

gymboywalton Sat 03-May-14 18:33:37

this was like someone describing me

MammaTJ Sat 03-May-14 18:34:06

I develop an unusual and overwhelming desire to do housework when I am meant to be studying.

Odd, I never normally do it.

I have an exam in 8 days and an essay due in soon.

curiousuze Sat 03-May-14 18:36:53

OP I know a guy who coloured in an entire wooden chair with a biro rather than write an essay for uni.

This was pre-internet mind.

TheRightToShoes Sat 03-May-14 18:51:49

I could have written the OP, I do this too. I'm doing it right now hmm
Another thing I do is feel like I need to wait for my TMA results before I can move onto the next one or do anymore studying (you know in case I was completely off track and need the feedback to point in the right direction, even though it is most likely going to be irrelevant to that months study & TMA) blush

That article was GREAT! Thanks.

How little we know ourselves really...

I never give 100%, as I am very proud and find if very humiliating to do anything badly.

By procrastinating and doing a rush job, I can tell myself: I should have worked harder. And avoid: I was simply not clever enough. Ouch.

caeleth84 Sat 03-May-14 19:48:31

Read the book "mindset" by carol dweck (I may have spelled that wrong). It's illuminating.

It's basically a defensive mechanism of the fixed mindset, where by not trying your best you can't be judged on the result since you could've done better. Whereas if you tried your best and didn't live up to expectations (you own or others) you might be judged as a failure.

That's not really a good explanation, but the books really is excellent. I'm like this myself in a lot of things, and I've finally realized why. It just makes so much sense! Not that that makes me instantly able to not procrastinate, but I'm working on it smile

Iceberg75 Sat 03-May-14 20:03:07

And this me shock, I have always been like this but it got worse when I was a student.

AWimbaWay Sat 03-May-14 20:12:28

I have an assignment that needs handing in on Tuesday. I told myself it's OK because Dd2 goes to pre-school on a Monday morning, the others will be at school and I'm not at work so I'll be able to do it then.

Forgot it's a bloody bank holiday. I'm kind of doing it now. I'm not.

teaandthorazine Sat 03-May-14 20:12:53

Yep. I am supposed to be writing my MSc dissertation. I have four months left, and haven't even recruited participants yet, let alone actually written any of it.

I'm a single parent too, work fulltime as well as study, and yy to just wanting to veg in front of the tv (or MN) in the evenings.

I'm fucked.

AWimbaWay Sat 03-May-14 20:14:29

It's basically a defensive mechanism of the fixed mindset, where by not trying your best you can't be judged on the result since you could've done better. Whereas if you tried your best and didn't live up to expectations (you own or others) you might be judged as a failure.

^^ Not me really, I'm just being a lazy arse.

Squitten Sat 03-May-14 20:21:34

Can I join the party? I assume we'll all be having a party instead of actually studying...

I'm in the same boat - trucking through OU on transitional fees. I find each module ends with an utter drag. I start well but I always hit the wall in the final months. I'm REALLY bricking it now - final project due in 3wks and it's worth 50% of my grade. Ack...

natwebb79 Sat 03-May-14 20:25:48

This reminds me of a time at uni when I'd had two months to complete an assignment andd had to throw an all nighter at the library the night before it was due. I actually had to google 'how do I stop procrastinating? ' to get myself to get on with it. I was that bad. grin Got a 2.1 in the end so it's kind of curable. ..

ThingsThatShine Sat 03-May-14 20:32:13

I always procrastinated a lot as a student and most people I know did too. For a lot of people I agree there is an element of defensive behaviour to it - if they don't get great marks they can tell themselves they could have done better if they had worked harder. I always got top marks without a massive amount of effort so I often left things to the last minute because I knew I could and always do fine under pressure. Not trying to sound smug, just honest!

I'm sure you will be fine OP!

TheWanderingUterus Sat 03-May-14 20:35:38

This is me too. I'm doing a PHD with two children and running a voluntary group. Most evenings I am asleep by 10pm and I never seem to make much progress.

Behind this mumsnet window open on my computer is a piece of research work I have been putting off for weeks.

I am a lazy procrastinator and an overachieving perfectionist and its an almost intolerable combination. I need to wait for my brain to work down from 'must be perfect' to 'Shit, need to get SOMETHING in now' before i can even start to do it.

I have to make my own deadlines which is the worst bit, so my lazy side is going 'another week, yes? More time for chocolate and lounging is a good thing' and my other side is going 'Yesterday! You should have done this by yesterday. Hurry up and shift your fat arse'.

Aspiringhuman Sat 03-May-14 20:36:24

You'll be great tea. I've to decide on my dissertation question by next week but I'm struggling to think of what to do.

Catsize Sat 03-May-14 20:38:11

Totally totally me. It's all Mumsnet's fault I missed out on a distinction by 2% in my Masters, as I spent far too much time on AIBU. smile.
I am really annoyed with myself for not doing more, but if I had 'done my best' and got the same result, well...
The psychology referred to above is so spot on for me, but I hadn't worked it out for myself. It's amazing I got a degree at all!

EurotrashGirl Sat 03-May-14 20:49:11

Here is the second half of the blog post that gym posted. It contains some tips on how to beat procrastination.

EurotrashGirl Sat 03-May-14 20:49:28

story, forgot the link

teaandthorazine Sat 03-May-14 20:51:11

Thanks aspiringhuman, and good luck with your question! smile

This is ME! I am going to go and read the articles now.

Very interesting theory that its a defensive thing; that makes a lot of sense.

I've just had to intermit my first year UG. I so want to do the degree, but the self-sabotage thing stops me dead.

Has anyone been able to change? I'm sure mine is borne of low self-esteem - therapy?

TillyTellTale Sat 03-May-14 20:59:52

I alternate years of being The Annoying One on the course, who has handed everything in a week early, with being The Utterly Screwed One, to whom everyone feels superior. I'm presently in the latter stage, which is why I am trying to cram six months of understanding into two weeks, by memorising a textbook word-by-fucking-word, in time for the exam. While MN'ing.

I have various May exams, and I'm prepared for none of them!

I vow next year will be different. I mean it!

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