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Coarvi
Tuesday, 8 August 2017 at 9:34am
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 at 5:58pm
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Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
13-Oct-17, 09:46
edited about 3 seconds later
by Coarvi
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posted about 1 week ago
Just thought I'd give an update since I got some good advice here...

... I'm going to quit! I got a new job offer, and have spent the last few weeks thinking about what I want to do. There is still some small part of me who want to continue, but after discussing with my supervisors etc. I can't find enough support to go through with it, and quitting seems to be the best option. I just don't have the energy to continue. And right now it feels very, very good to say that this will soon be over.

Thread: Starting PhD with maternity leave plans

posted
28-Aug-17, 08:27
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Most of my (current and previous) female PhD-colleagues have had at least one baby during their PhD, including myself. It's not a problem at all, the flexibility of a PhD is great when having children.

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
22-Aug-17, 06:40
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Thank you for your honest advice, pm133. I went to a therapist and she basically said the same thing. There is no point for me to look for methods of avoiding procrastination as long as I dislike what I do so much.

I really needed to hear that.

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
15-Aug-17, 18:16
edited about 11 seconds later
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From statictraveller:
Hi Coarvi,
I know how you feel, I am also the only PhD student in our research group so I can fully sympathise with you when you say you feel lonely and there is nobody else who understands what you are doing. My supervisor (one of them) is the only person who understands what I am doing too. you are not alone - not sure if that helps?
I think a part of this being more than half-way through your PhD and going down the negative slope, as many do and may not admit and also partly becoming a mum. I am not a mum -yet- but when I am I would have so much other priorities in regards to my baby that I would not be prioritising my research. and PhD is hard, once you stop working for a week or two, everything piles up so much that you would just rather sit and look at it and think about everything that you can't do and can't understand rather than sitting down and tackling it. and this is also completely normal!
but chin up. like you said, at the beginning you felt you were the best PhD candidate and you still are. take a piece of paper and make a to-do list. write down every single concept/script you can't understand and make a timeline of what you expect of yourself to achieve by what day and what time. and once you do, tick it! tick so you feel blissful when you look back at that list of paper again - let it be a reminder of of your achievement.
and once you get your intellectual confidence back, you'll be on a roll and finishing your third paper.

Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.

Good luck. you can do it, fellow PhD student.


Thank you. Yes, it helps.

Unfortunately this has nothing to do with being over halfway, or being a mum. I have been like this all the time, but it is getting worse now. I have kind of done what you suggest, but it does not work that well for me,but I will continue trying...

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
15-Aug-17, 18:10
edited a moment later
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From pm133:




I am no expert but I would have thougt that finance and economics both involve heavy amounts of programming.
Am I missing something here?[/quote]

No, you are absolutely right. I just didn't expect it to be so boring... I expected to spend more time on writing. I never write. I have nothing to write.

I'm not doing anything complicated, but I am really struggling to make sensible analyses of the data I am supposed to use. Therefore I spend much time on "trial and error", a lot of time googling to figure out how to do the things I want to do, try something new... I feel I have spent a whole year on "we are almost finished, let's just try this first". A year! I am sooo tired of it, and it does not make sense to me anymore. Therefore I end up procrastinating,instead of writing more code...

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
15-Aug-17, 18:01
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago

I'm coming to my end of second year. Have a report due in by 31st of this month to present two years worth of work and an internal panel will decide if i'll be allowed in to 3rd year.
I have no idea at this point if I'll make it...


Wow, good luck with that! I'm sure you'll be fine (it is so easy to be positive on other people's behalf...).

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
11-Aug-17, 10:19
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From helebon:
From my coaching session, one technique for being productive is the 10 Minute Rule. You do something for 10 minutes then move onto another task.
You have the paper work for the tasks in separate piles on the desk ready to start. Set yourself an alarm on your mobile phone for example.
It does work as the thought of just 10 minutes work is ok when you feel less motivated. Then have regular breaks. I ended up working more than 10 mins on each task.


Good ideas. Usually, when I first get started on something, I manage to stay productive for some hours (with small breaks of course). My issue is mainly to actually get started. It just feel so overwhelming. Usually my tasks are of the type "figure out why this code is not working" or "come up with new specifications since the ones I have suck". So it's difficult to think of specific tasks since it often requires me to go through a lot of code and think what to do. And I am SO SICK of codes! I feel more qualified for a job in IT than finance/economics after this, even though all my education so far is within finance...

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
11-Aug-17, 10:15
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From aboutimeee:
I have a similar problem. I feel absolutely unproductive and worthless which leads to even less productivity.
Considering I have a great and encouraging supervisor just exacerbates my guilt and self doubt. Recently watched a video on Youtube called "7 Ways to Maximize Misery" and it really hit me how every single thing mentioned in it applied to me. I've been given a great opportunity, to better myself and reach my potential, yet I'm just wasting it away.
Discussing my project with others is not really an option as everybody else is doing really different things which leaves me feeling lonely and isolated. Don't really have friends or a social life to speak of. I eat and sleep excessively while feeling slow and lethargic.


Yes, this is the exact same situation for me as well, except the last part. I have my family, so even though I don't have many friends, I feel I have a social life with my family. So for parts of the day I manage to ignore the fact that I'm lazy and worthless. But when it comes to the PhD and my "research", I absolutely feel lonely and isolated. I will take a look on the video you mention. Do you see any way "out" of this? How long have been working on your phd?

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
10-Aug-17, 08:32
edited about 5 seconds later
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From linzedin:
I love your honesty and can relate to all of this!
I have to work in small chunks, with rewards, and complete silence. I maximise on those moments when the brain is in gear.... When not in the zone, get out, give up and start afresh next day.


But if I follow this advice, I would never get anything done. I never feel in the zone. :P Well, sometimes, when I work closely with my supervisor/co-author and I get clear deadlines ("do this and we'll talk again later today"). But that is rare, as she belongs to another uni and does not have a clear picture of what I actually do. It's only when she's here (a few times a year) I actually get much done. I do things in the mean time, of course, and send her my work maybe once a week, but if I had been more efficient I could have done the same work in one day rather than one week.

Again, thank you all for answering, it helps a lot just to tell this to someone!

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
10-Aug-17, 08:27
edited a moment later
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Dotdottung: I've read your post. I'm sorry for what you're going through, you seem to've been under a lot of pressure. I think our situations are very different in that way - you ARE working a lot. You have been working non stop, long days. At least you can say to yourself that you are doing your very best! Appreciate that, and take of yourself.

Unfortunately I can't say the same about me. I'm not doing my best, and I'm not working nonstop. My problem is that I'm doing almost nothing, because it is soooo hard to get started on the tasks I really hate. When I work, I don't feel I'm doing proper research. I just feel it's a lot of nonsense, all of it.

Luckily, after I had my baby I've been very good at not thinking of work when at home. So I have many hours each day where I do things not related to my PhD. But as soon as I'm back at my office I feel like a lazy loser. I should just DO something, but it ends up with me staring at my screen, looking for other things to do than starting on those stata-commands again.

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
09-Aug-17, 09:06
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
Thank you for your replies, it helps!

My supervisors are not worried about my progress, but they don't know how much time I'm wasting. Sup A believes I am doing work with sup B, and vice versa. I'm not in any research group, and that's why I feel so lonely. I have PhD-colleagues around me, but they work on completely different things (I am doing economics, while most students are within marketing or leadership). I need to be able to discuss my topic and methods with someone who understands at least a little bit, but that is not possible, so I feel uninspired and demotivated. I also feel so, so stupid when I see their progress, and hear them discussing things that are totally blank to me.


My uni does not offer any coaching etc. They have coaching for students, but PhD students are employees and therefore we are not included. After I started this thread I actually contacted a therapist, so I will see him in 2 weeks, but it is very expensive so it's not something I can afford often. I guess it will take time to change my way of thinking, and in the mean time, time is running by.

I know it is usual to feel like this. I spent some hours yesterday (yup, I'm a talent at procrastinating) reading this forum, and it was a relief to see so many posts with similar struggles as I am having. But I've felt like this for so long. I had a bad and "unlucky" start, so I was sick of it all even before I started the actual research.

The worst is that I truly believe that an academic position COULD be the right thing for me - but not with this PhD/within this field! I see so much clearer now what kind of research would have suited me better, but it is too late to change. That is probably why I don't quit. But in the same time, this PhD is only breaking me down.

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
08-Aug-17, 09:56
edited about 26 seconds later
by Coarvi
Avatar for Coarvi
posted about 2 months ago
I've completed 2 years of my PhD, 1 more left. I really don't know how to get forward with my work, I'm always feeling down, and I feel like the laziest, most useless person at this university.

Is there anyway to get past this? Is quitting the only option? I kind of wish I could quit, but I don't know what else to do (I need a job!), I don't want to disappoint my supervisors (who are clearly more optimistic than I am), and once upon a time I really dreamed of becoming a researcher, and gain more knowledge on the topics I find interesting. Initially, I thought I was the perfect candidate for a PhD. Obviously not.

The requirement for my PhD is 3 papers. One is under review (and has been for 6 months now...), one is under work (has been forever...) and the last one is not even planned.

So what are my issues?
- I am lonely. I hate working alone. I need to work with people.
- I find the work difficult AND boring. I work with Stata and all I do is write codes, day in, day out. The topic is just a big "whatever" for me.
- I struggle on getting anything done. I've been working on paper 2 for over a year now, I am still not ready to WRITE, all I do is analyses in Stata, and the results are poor, hence - more analyses and codes.
- Therefore, I don't understand how I can ever, ever finish approximately on time.
- I find things difficult, and therefore feel stupid because there are so many things I don't understand, or manage to understand by reading.

All this leads up to me sitting in my office, glaring at my screen, doing (almost) nothing because the work I am supposed to do is boring/difficult/meaningless.

Sorry for all the whining. But how do I break out of this vicious circle? I've had 12 months off because I had a baby, so obviously having a break is not the solution.
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