I have an essay I'm working on (trying)! My motivation has been shockingly shite recently and need some help to break the habit of procrastination. I am off this week to finish it but get up, have breakfast, Potter for a while, do laundry, the dishes etc - I just CANT face it. I am also 6 months pregnant so think that's definitely making it worse (baby brain). Has anyone successfully overcome procrastination or got some techniques to make the most of your time when studying??
*pomodoro? (No idea why it's called that). You set a timer for 30 mins, and work. Then you set the timer for 30 mins, and do something else - pottering, reading, TV, whatever. The idea is that the short bursts and the time off motivate you to burst through it.
* free writing. Again, set a timer (15 minutes?). Write a stream of consciousness - don't allow yourself to delete anything. You can even write questions to yourself, doubts, whatever.
* define your terms. This works if you are stuck on focus. Sit down with the question and look up each term. Define it precisely. Write down what the implications of that term are. Why were you set an essay on that subject? What would it mean to someone else? What do you need to explain before someone will understand exactly what the topic is?
Ahhh thanks for these tips! I'm currently sat on the couch watching Homes Under the Hammer and slowly eating breakfast browsing MN! Giving myself toll 11 then going to try the pomodoro technique. I'm feeling positive about it today(ish)! Thanks
When I was writing my thesis, I found that just resolving to pull myself together and work harder was completely useless. In the end, what worked was:
1. going somewhere where I couldn't just potter/watch TV (I went to the university library with my laptop - obviously this may not be an option). 2. Installing two anti-procrastination apps on my computer - one was called "Instant Boss" which was bit pomodoro-ish (I think it's called pomodoro because the person who came up with it had a tomato-shaped timer!). I had ten minutes work/two minutes break (which I could then extend by 30s if needed). This worked for me because a break was never far away and I couldn't do anything in the breaks anyway because of the second app - which was called "Cold Turkey" - which switched off access to a number of websites (set by me) on my computer for a number of hours (also set by me). So my breaks were really just two minutes of breathing space.
The thing is that the task itself was too overwhelming to think about. If I had relied on just berating myself to be more motivated, it would never have happened - I had to admit to myself that I needed help, and then give myself the tools that I needed in order to get it done.