‘It cannot be when the root is neglected that what springs from it will be well ordered” Confucius
We always know what we must do. Yet some of us, for reasons known only to ourselves, shirk and dismiss priorities. I am guilty of neglecting my PhD. There is no excuse for this. Others may not understand how I can let weeks go without working on my research. Yet, there are days when I spend 6-8 hours writing and editing. And there are weeks when I read all day. Then there are weeks when I know I must continue with my research, but I stop myself. I don’t worry when I don’t work because I push all pending work to ‘tomorrow’ to then find comfort in lazing about for days.
These are real conversations I have had with, and on my PhD. They may resonate with some of you
PhD: It must be done.
Me: Not today.
PhD: The chapter is overdue.
Me: I will block the weekend to work on it.
PhD: First draft should have been ready by now.
Me: Yes, but, look at my CV and all the new experiences.
PhD: Week two and you’ve not done any research, reading or writing.
Me: I have time.
Brain: You really should get working.
Me: I know. I don’t know what’s wrong. I will start tomorrow.
Tomorrow: You’ve woken up late… wow! Check out the twitter debate. Engage!
Me: It’s mid-week anyway, I promise I will get to work on PhD next week.
Mum calls: I know you’ve been working so hard. Hang on. Allah will not let your efforts go to waste.
Me thinking: *How can I pray for the resolve to get this research done, when Allah sees me waste time all day* Am such a shit.
Friend: Can’t wait for you to come back. You must be done by now.
Me thinking: *Bloody hell. What’s wrong with me. I can’t stick to my timelines*
PhD Colleague: …So after you wake up, how is it possible that you don’t work on your thesis?
Me thinking: *Conscious neglect. Easy to waste time. Finding security in summoning tomorrow*
My thoughts as I lie in bed waiting for sleep
I’m utterly useless.
I am not cut out for this.I should have finished this draft chapter two months ago.Six weeks since the interviews and I still haven’t analysed the information!Why am I not consistent?What’s wrong with me?Everyone else is so invested in their research!I don’t even know who the authors in my chapter 4 are?Why am I doing this?Wait, I can’t return home without the degree. Am not a loser. I can do this. Tomorrow!
The PhD procrastination is REAL because you let yourself FALL INTO IT. You convince and pacify yourself that tomorrow will be different.
This is my third year and I CONTINUE in procrastination, lacking self-discipline, pushing deadlines, reshuffling timelines, avoiding the PhD, prioritising other tasks unrelated to my PhD and finding so many justifications to distract me from my lack of seriousness in giving 100% to my PhD.
Then, I came across a book…
I read these words…
I am done being ungrateful for my days. These words have inspired me to action. Inspiration is just 1%. Getting down to work is the 99% that I must now put in.
SUBSTITUTE TOMORROW WITH NOW
SAY NO TO DISTRACTIONS