Depressed and stressed out - need to beat the procrastination beast!


======= Date Modified 19 47 2010 00:47:45 =======
Sorry this is going to be a negative post but I feel like I'm going a bit insane and am in need of all you lovely people's support and advice!

I am due to submit in July/Aug. Had been working very hard but recently just kind of run out of steam. I am very lucky in that I've recently been offered a job (which I really wanted). I took a few days off to celebrate and to have a rest but since then I am having problems getting back in gear. I've wasted a week just procrastinating, which I'm hating myself for because I have so little time left I shouldn't waste one minute, let alone a whole week... :$ It's as if the more I stress about finishing the more I procrastinate.

I'm feeling like it's like an impossible task to finish in time, but I know I HAVE to do it nevertheless. I haven't got a complete draft done yet... So far I have written about 6 of the 8 chapters (all on 2nd or 3rd draft), but they still need lots of polishing and I will need to re-do lots of stats too :-(

I'm sorry to sound so pathetic! But am feeling fairly depressed and stressed out at the same time. :$


Avatar for Pjlu

Be utterly ruthless with yourself and set down your stages until the August submission. For example- for today or the first day-just plan all of your workload. Think of it in time chunks. Then once you have a realistic timetable for all of your tasks until completion-begin to follow it on day two.

For example-day one: Timetable and planner and tasks
Day 2: (9.30 to 1pm Draft of chap 7 (or depending on how big 7 is- first three sections of chapter 7) or even just one sement of chapter 7
(but literally divide every task up into time and amount of task/activity for that time and then follow it to the letter)
2 until 5 pm- segments four of Chapter 7, etc

Give yourself morning tea and afternoon tea breaks -or whatever, and take time off for exercise, eating or any other vital part of your life-time with family, washing, etc.

If you do this then you will find you are working realistic days but you can have hours off or evenings off depending on when it is you like to write best.

It is surprising just how much you achieve when you tackle awful things this way. Reward yourself everytime you finish a three hour (with a 20 break in beteween) slog or a particular task. Cross it off the list with a big flourish.

Lots of people recommend mytomatoes-personally I have not used it-but I have a Masters thesis not doctoral dissertation this way, so mytomatoes might be the way to go when you are on the longer journey of the phd dissertation.

Cheers and good luck and don't beat yourself up for having your recent probably really needed it to get some energy for the final stages.


You are not on your own with this one - i spent most of this week sitting at my desk, feeling depressed, not doing much (except looking up trashy celebrity gossip online) even though i am far past the point of needing to be finished. For example, i have to finish one more section for the intro - and it just was not happening last week. I have to prepare a presentation for next week, and i have spent about an hour...looking at trashy celebrity gossip sites (check out the fairytale-like pictures of the wedding of the crown princess of sweden).

So, this is what we're going to do - we're going to follow the advice given here - make a list, have the breaks we still need day to day, and enjoy that satisfaction of ticking things off when they are done. Its not going to be a load of fun - but we can do it! Just focus for small portions of time (i use the pomodoros / my tomoatoes thing - but regularly modify the times if i feel like i will never make it to 25 minutes). Get at it, because every little thing we do today will contribute something towards the "final" product.

Good luck!


If you want to procrastinate do it the correct way: with a melon juice in a beach somewhere in southern Europe. No reason to procrastinate in front of a computer. Only a week with two weekends, no big deal. Charter flights with hotel included are pretty cheap! 8-) Although, I would recommend free camping instead!


======= Date Modified 21 Jun 2010 13:30:06 =======
Hi Montezuma,

sounds like you're pretty much nearly there! I agree with the planning reply by Pjlu (although I never did that myself). You are definitely not alone, procrastination is so common there is a section on it on the Vitae PGR website:
be honest with yourself in trying to get to the cause of your 'stalling': have you reached a difficult chapter? Was getting this job your main motivation which you've now achieved?

good luck!


Hi all,

Sorry took me a while but I've come back to say thanks!! I did read all your replies after taking the weekend off. And had taken on your advice - worked out timetable, used tomatoes. Glad to say it helped!! Have been making steady progress since then. I'm still worried if I'd finish in time, but overall I'm feeling more positive (or perhaps it should be less negative) than when I started this thread. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that gets down by procrastination and anxiety and guilt from time to time too!

Thanks again and hope you're all doing well!