discipline and writing up.... tips needed! PLEASEEEE!


I have my first draft due in september. I am still analysing my data (NVIVO is a nightmare) but have started writing bits. But i am finding it very hard to be disciplined. I have tried and read all the 'treat your phd like a full time job' etc etc. I just am finding it difficult to get on with it. I am thinking of getting rid of my television. I find it difficult to work in the lab cos people just talk to me and i talk back. Whats wrong with me - i was totally focused in my first year. Any tips would be appreciated. I need to get me into gear! Thnx


it's not the tv that's the problem.

you're feeling overwelmed by the huge task of it. and that's causing you to have procrastination tendencies because you feel lost and don't know what to do.

my advice. make a map, of all the bits you need to do. break it up into smaller sections. and then everyday just concentrate on one small section.

just work on it abit everyday. if you're having trouble starting. start a timer, and tell yourself you ONLY have to do 10minutes. you can work for 10 minutes, even if you hate it. you can do it for 10 minutes. and see what you come up with it. usually that's the spark that needs you to get going.

also visit this website, it really helps! listen to the clip, trust me it's worth the 15minutes.


(all above advice given to me by fellow forum members)


I'm also having difficult with everyday consistency and progress -and as I posted earlier today - I'm looking for partners in accountability! If anyone is interested - let me know. Often its easier to keep someone else on track, and have them do the same for you.


i can volunteer to be your 'partner in crime' if you like. what say you?

my deadline is to finish my thesis map by tommorow morning.

i gotta do a thesis map detailing:
7 chapters.

at the moment i am still doing the introduction ! i think i am going over the top.

it has to be perfect. because based on this thesis map, he will decide whether to sign my examination entry forms and arrange examiners for me or not. if he doesnt let me submit, i am buggered cause the uni will terminate my registration in september if i dont submit my thesis.

i'm thinking positive though . and just focusing on making it the best thesis map i can.

but i should start on the results sections soon!

okay deadline 5pm, and then i should move on to the results section, as they are the trickier bits. (starts egg timer)


i have an office at the institute where i work so i don't have a problem with my tv right now - when i was still a "normal" student who had to study at home i sold my tv and dvdplayer because it was way too distracting. when i go to england in september (fingers crossed!) i won't be getting a tv because i'll have to study at home again. i'd always rather do anything than study (even clean). on the positive side: will have an extremely clean and tidy room.

i do have a problem with the internet though, so whenever i have reading to do i grab my stuff and go down to the library and sit there. i take a break when i start to get tired (usually after an hour max) and pop up to my office to surf/mail/make a tea. i use an egg-timer and set it for about 15-30 minutes and i can do whatever i want during that time. otherwise i tend to lose track of time on the internet, but there's no excuse anymore when that egg-timer rings!


thank you all. I have found this website: http://www.myeggtimer.com/ i have been using it for the '10min thing' its worked a treat!
Good luck everyone!


wicked egg timer website!!

ever since i read about it in joan bolkers book i actually have a egg timer on my desk. it always makes me jump when it rings lol

this website one is handy aswell as you can have multiple tasks and deadlines, FANTASTIC! love it

thanks for posting about it


I think my best advice is just to sit there and do it - I don't mean that to sound so harsh - but what I found was that even on the days that were so slow and boring I still got stuff done

I may have struggled through some chapters but at the end of the day those days helped get it done.

The hardest thing is getting the plan of what you want to write and first drafts done - once you have the basic outline it does become a little easier. I think most folk waste time because they can't see where its going.


Don't chuck away the TV yet you are going to need it on the days when you just can't do it

But there is no substitute for forcing yourself to get it done - do whatever it takes, make unrealistic submission deadlines, whatever - accept that you'll spend most of the time feeling sorry for yourself But always keep in mind that one day it will be done and then you can get on with your real life

its going to be hard for the next wee while but soon enough you'll look back and it'll aaaallll be over

Good luck



S is so right, sometimes you really do have to literally force yourself to keep put and work through even though you're hating it. thats what i do sometimes, when i REALLY just want to get up and leave it. i force myself to just sit there and work on it even if its going really really really slow. if im really getting frustrated and bored. i sometimes put my favourite tv show on in the background so that i can "fool" myself into thinking im not really work. then when i get into it. i turn it off. works for me.