I have been ‘doing’ a PhD for 3 years now and in that time I have become an expert in the art of procrastination.
I thought you might like it know it is possible to complete (almost) a PhD and also be a master procrastinator. In fact, I think it might be an essential part of my process.
In the beginning, I was nagged by a constant guilt – a feeling that if I spent all the time I wasted on anything but reading and writing, on reading and writing, then I would be so much smarter than I am now; that this PhD would write itself; and that I would actually become the expert I was expected to.
The highlights of this 3 year procrastinationathon include:
- Watching the first 5 seasons of True Blood, straight through (the other two hadn’t come out yet).
- Building a deck.
- Writing a screenplay.
- Wallpapering the hall.
- And planning/taking two overseas trips, requiring months of internet research.
Not bad achievements, but the main motivation, in each of these cases, was to avoid writing and reading. And this list does not include all the trips to the movies, the naps, the daytime TV, the lunch breaks I never returned from, etc.
After 3 years, I have come to accept my lack of discipline as my modus operandi, and to work with it rather than against it.
I no longer feel guilty about the time I take off (although I have used a far bit of my LOA to balance that time out). Writing up always seems to take about three times as long as I think it should, but I am on track to finish this year (fingers crossed).
At the end of this, I may not be as smart as I hoped I would be, but then a PhD is (probably) not the last thing I will do. It is part of a bigger picture, not the whole picture.
I am now planning a backyard studio. But am holding off on drawing up the plans until after my final chapter is written. I have to draw the line somewhere.