Usually in January/February in my PhD office it is extremely quiet. The new PhD students don't start until March, and neither does teaching. A lot of people (not me, unfortunately) take this to mean they have an extended holiday. Also, besides a couple of weeks of summer school, there's no first year psychology students to experiment on. So really, all that leaves to do is writing.
I am definitely keen to finish my thesis this year, but am expecting it won't be until the end of the year. I don't seem to go very well with long term goals like that. Also, with no teaching or testing, there's no real reason to go into the office as I can read and write at home.
So here I am, at home. I try to work, but it just doesn't seem to happen. I could always set shorter goals for myself, e.g. write 1000 words today, but I can always rationalise those sorts of things. What happens if I don't write 1000 words today? Well, nothing. My supervisor is working on a paper I sent her, so she doesn't really need to see any other work from me right now. So I don't even have that as a motivation. I guess I need to recapture the initial excitement I had for this project - I was one of those nerds in my office who got started early on their PhD by coming in to work even when my office computer hadn't been delivered yet, and was pestering my supervisor for suggestions of readings to do. How I can feel that again however, I'm not sure right now. It's not that I hate my project now, but I have no new experiment findings to think about, and no new experiments to plan (all the experiments I'm doing for my thesis have been planned, some finished, and others started, but I now have to wait until March to continue).
So I have some questions for you:
- Do you ever have problems like this?
- What do you do to overcome motivation problems?
- What do you do to overcome procrastination problems?
- What do you think of this picture?