Signup date: 28 Mar 2011 at 9:31pm
Last login: 09 Dec 2012 at 4:31pm
Post count: 451
======= Date Modified 24 Jul 2012 22:52:20 =======
I'm not sure why, but we're always our own worst critic. From all you're previous posts, I know you've worked so hard on this PhD! I hope you feel proud of what you've done - many people would have thrown in the towel a long time ago!
Like Furry, I like using the online mytomatoes timer when I'm having trouble getting started. Knowing that I can break in 25 minutes seems to get me going, and then gradually I start to work for longer periods of time. Before the break, the prompt asks "What did you do?" and the shame of responding, "Nothing!" is a great self-regulator.
Making a short checklist of feasible tasks every day also helps. Some people post their checklist here on the "accountability thread."
It also helps to be honest without yourself about the reasons you're procrastinating. Sometimes it's fear of negative feedback from your sup. Sometimes it's fear of having to face the viva once you hand in the manuscript. It's also natural to experience periods of boredom with your topic.
There are also times when one is just thoroughly mentally and physically exhausted. If you've reached this point, perhaps you could commit to a date to get back to work, and then take your break. You might feel more focused once you're rested. (Just don't rest too long!)
I hope this helps!
======= Date Modified 23 Jul 2012 21:52:25 =======
It could be the reason you're finding it hard to get motivated is because you've lost passion for your research topic and/or feel distanced from it because of the long stretch of time that has passed. Maybe instead of thinking about the end result (earning the Masters degree), you should focus on what inspired you to do the research in the first place. As you well know, there's a great deal of drudgery involved in academic work, but if you can rekindle some of the initial curiosity, and passion, it might help you get going again. What do you think?
I'm sorry your PhD program isn't working out. If you're filling out an application form, it's best to write in that you were working on the PhD for nine months, because this is where they are looking for gaps in your employment or education. I wouldn't put on the CV, however, because prospective employers use the CV to see how well your experiences/skills match the job. From the employers point of view, nine months isn't really long enough to say that you learned something of value to them. On the CV, they only want to see what's most relevant to the job for which you're applying. You can always elaborate in the cover letter, or during the interview.
In the cover letter (or if you get an interview) is where you can delve into details. You could say something along the lines of, "I was in a PhD program when I learned about the job opening at Dell Labs. I didn't want to miss this opportunity." or "I was pursuing a PhD in Chemistry, when I realized my real passion is pharmacology." or "I would like to get more experience working in robotics before continuing a PhD in Instructional Technology." or "I enjoyed the research in the PhD program, but the projects here at Dell are far more creative, and innovative. I think I have more to offer in this environment."
This is all just my opinion, but I think whatever you say, make it sound like a positive decision. I do hope you feel like the decision is your own, and not that you're being forced out by a sexist pig.
So he admitted that he has been lazy through most of his PhD program. Most people would be embarrassed! I know it's small consolation, but what do you think is going to happen to this person once he manages to get a job? It's not going to be as easy to mooch off others. Some try, most fail - eventually. Will he spend most of his life stealing work from his students, and trying to publish it as his own? I wonder. Well, good luck to him. It's good that you will be graduating from your program with the requisite skills and knowledge to excel in your field - you can't get that from mooching.
Oh, I understand now! Is there another prof in your department with whom you can talk as you reach the final stages of your program? It's good to have an "unofficial supervisor", especially if your real supervisor is too busy. An unofficial sup may not be inclined to read your whole manuscript, but you could show her a summary, or discuss some key points - anything to help you prepare for the viva.
In my department, it's standard to put all research instruments, and research protocol (e.g. questionnaires) in the appendix. Anything that isn't yours (MMSE questionnaire, maps) should include a copyright date, or "used with permission from XYZ".
(Just a thought...don't you find it a bit odd that your prof would say this is optional? When you're reading a research report, don't you check out the questionnaire, etc. in the back of the report? Maybe your prof misunderstood your question?)
Like "Anon" I was initially hesitant to tell my supervisor when my husband began having psychotic episodes, and long periods of hospitalization. Part of it was wanting to keep "work" and personal life separate, another part was I didn't want pity, and the third reason was fear of the stigma attached to mental illness. In retrospect, telling my sup was the right thing to do. I was pleasantly surprised by the support I received. (Some of these professors have been around a long time, and have seen a lot of things happen to PhD advisees along the way.) Concerning the stigma, the irony is that the more we discuss such things out in the open, the more it lessens the stigma. All I can add to the good advice you've already received here is to work at your own pace, and be good to yourself. I hope you have a great PhD experience!
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