Dropping out of PhD - what's next?

posted
07-Jul-18, 09:21
Avatar for profkmorrell
posted about 1 week ago
In terms of procrastinating, one suggestion might be to avoid using this general label and instead try to think more specifically about what is happening at particular times with particular tasks in relation to particular goals.

We can tell ourselves the reason we didn't do something is "because" we were procrastinating. But this is a bit of a trick we are playing on ourselves. There isn't really a because - this term doesn't help to explain anything or give us any insight. All we are doing is using a very generic label to justify to ourselves why we have less than desirable outcomes. The problem is this label becomes "the reason" we haven't done what we wanted to. It then becomes a stick we beat ourselves with making everything feel worse.

It can help if you make your goals more specific. This is helped by planning at the start of the day what you want to accomplish. Often what people do is say to themselves something like "I'm going to spend today on my literature review". That can work but it often isn't sustainable because it's too big a task and it's not a realisable goal in a day. If you break your project into smaller tasks and goals that can be helpful.

Another consideration is the nature of the task. Some tasks require high skill and are highly challenging, it might be you are the kind of person who needs to "warm up" before taking these on. Or you could be the kind of person who needs to do these first while you have most energy. If you have more specific goals (e.g. find 20 relevant articles / read 5 articles / write 600 words on a topic / learn more about the aims and scope of 5 journals / work out how many words needed in each section of my project) you can schedule tasks in ways that suit you. Tick them off when done as it feels good. That can also help build momentum - if you exceed your day's goals then great.
posted
09-Jul-18, 13:27
by nordsee
Avatar for nordsee
posted about 6 days ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Ooops, I edited my reply while you responding to it! It is slightly different now (I noted that you didn't have funding and added something else).

Yeah, not being funded gives certainly more flexibility (you can't loose anything if you don't have it), but its it actually possible to transfer to another institution and to be still in 2nd year (which will start soon)?
posted
09-Jul-18, 13:31
edited about 27 seconds later
by nordsee
Avatar for nordsee
posted about 6 days ago
Quote From profkmorrell:
It's great you are getting help. Thanks for the feedback, I'll try to add more.

Often in my view the 2nd year can be the hardest. It's difficult to generalise but often the first year is all new and a bit more structured so it can go by fairly quickly (also you have an end of year exam to concentrate on). By the time you are in the later stages 3rd/4th year you have a block of work behind you and can feel the pressure of deadlines coming up so it is still anxious but drives focus. It's hard to generalise but the 2nd year can feel like drifting which is a different kind of anxiety and often more uncomfortable for some.

[...]

Another positive on procrastination this might sound a bit crazy but the best general suggestion I can offer is really work hard on your morning routine. If you get the first hour right it helps so much. And also start this the night before writing a 2-3 minute plan for the day. Again I can try and say more just let me know :)


I'm in my first year and would love to have some structure. All I get in structure is sometimes a little push from my supervisor in a certain direction. But I personally feel that I either end up in dead ends or that in areas where I can see the wood for the trees. I'm doing a PhD in the UK and the overall time should only be three years in total.

You are right, I should be clarify what I think my supervisor is thinking.

yeah, I'm already doing the morning thing and it clearly works best, although not satisfactory.
posted
09-Jul-18, 13:34
by nordsee
Avatar for nordsee
posted about 6 days ago
Quote From profkmorrell:
In terms of procrastinating, one suggestion might be to avoid using this general label and instead try to think more specifically about what is happening at particular times with particular tasks in relation to particular goals [...]



Absolutely, I should really set daily aims and will do this for the next day before leaving uni on the day before. Thanks for this and all the other help!

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