Have you made up or latched onto a belief in order to justify procrastinating on your dissertation?
Many ABD’s tell me that they are struggling in their attempt to make headway in their dissertation.
In my email and in the conversations I have with people who are writing their dissertations, one word keeps coming up again and again: procrastinating.
The most active posts on this blog are those dealing with procrastination and also with getting started with writing or re-starting writing.
If you know you need to make a change but you haven’t been able to get started or re-started on your writing, it’s possible that you’ve latched onto a belief that’s causing you some big problems.
What beliefs are helping you to procrastinate?
Do any of these sound familiar?
1. “I don’t know enough—I have to keep reading and researching.”
2. “I can’t move forward in the writing until I feel confident about the introduction.”
3. “I need a big chunk of time in order to get into the work.”
4. “Working at the last-minute before I have a deadline is the way I work best and may be the only way I can work.”
5. “My life is so full that I just can’t get to some things until the last minute.”
6. “I am really trying to clear the decks so that I can get into this project.”
And my favorite:
7. “I’m at my most creative when I’m working at the last minute.”
Which belief do you own up to? Even if you know it’s just an excuse, do you still use it to help you avoid writing?
To kick this bad habit of procrastinating:
1. Ask yourself where will you will be in one month if you continue to do what you’re doing now.
2. Take an honest appraisal of what beliefs you’re putting in your way. Start with my checklist of excuses above and add your excuses or roadblocks.
3. Consider how often you allow fears of inadequacy or the belief that you are an imposter bring your work to a halt. If you allow the imposter syndrome to plant itself in your vision, you are irrationally blinding yourself to all that you have done to get yourself to this point.
Being honest with yourself is a first step toward getting your writing started.
What other beliefs and excuses come to your mind? Please share!
And remember to sign up for my Smart Tips for Writers e-newsletter at my website: www.nancywhichard.com.
P.S. Remember—you don’t have to do everything at once.
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach