Tag Archives: procrastination

Elephants for breakfast


Elephant bottoms by David Rosen, Attribution License

An amusing post about how to attack a large task…

How to eat an elephant in 10 minutes by Craig Jarrow

Productive writing


Sit by Linda Stanley, Attribution License

At one time or another, most of us find it hard to get the writing we are supposed to be doing done. There can be days when all that seems to come out of a whole days work is 500 words! Other times we procrastinate about even starting writing. Lets face it – writing is difficult.

Helen Sword, from The University of Auckland, has written several great books about writing. In this short article she summarises some key points for writing productively. If you read the article you will notice that one point “write every day” appears three times because it is so important. Writing only happens if you sit on a chair and write. Check out Helen’s article for more tips.

Helen Sword (2010) Becoming a more productive writer, MAI Review, 2,



Procrastination canine (Notting Hill), by Anne LANDOIS-FAVRET, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

This post on the APA Style Blog is by Paul J. Silvia who wrote a very useful book called “How to write a lot”. It’s a short book that is fun to read and definitely worth it, but its basic advice is simple. This post will give you the idea.


Checking your progress each month


Monitor Lizard by mattharvey1, Attribution-NoDerivs Licence

Reviewing your progress each month is a wonderful way to help keep yourself on track. Even better if you do this review with your supervisor, so make it a point of meeting with or emailing your supervisor every month. Every single month.

This gives you a regular deadline to work to. Each month, with your supervisor, you can set tasks that you plan to complete. At the end of each month you report back on progress. Look back on your research journal to see what has happened – often lots more than you remember. Not keeping a research journal? See this posting for why you should start now.

In this posting Arjenne Louter, The Dutch PhD Coach, talks about 5 questions to ask yourself at the end of each month and how doing this will help you stay on track to meet your deadlines.


Harnessing your willpower to get your dissertation done


Willpower by carfull…Cowboy State-r, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

As I read this article about willpower I could see myself in it such a lot – especially the part about being too tired to have the willpower to even go to bed.

But as you well know, your dissertation will not get done without willpower. There is some really helpful advice about how to build up and nurture your willpower in this article by Gayle Scroggs, Editor of the All But Dissertation Survival Guide. I hope you find it helpful.


Structured procrastination by John Perry

do it - procrastination concept

do it – procrastination concept by Vic Attribution-NonCommercial License

You will really enjoy this essay on structured procrastination. In it, John Perry provides an amusing explanation of a different way to look at the problem of getting things done. He has coined the term “structured procrastination” to describe the art of making procrastination work for you. It “converts procrastinators into effective human beings, respected and admired for all that they can accomplish and the good use they make of time”. After reading this I realised that structured procrastination is the only way housework gets done in my house. What are your tips for using structured procrastination to get things done? http://www.structuredprocrastination.com