Thursday, August 4, 2011


So. I'm submitting the first chapter of my thesis soon, very soon, too soon, & I have Thinker's Block. It's more than Writer's Block (I'm writing heaps, just nothing that makes much sense or is any good), it's not quite a mental block (there's some stuff going on in my head still, but this stuff isn't necessarily thoughts, & certainly not Thesis Thoughts) & as a result, for one of the first times in my life, I'm spending my days procrastinating. I don't usually have a problem with procrastination, but something about this deadline is giving me the psychological heebeejeebees & I just can't seem to face my chapter for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

It doesn't help that (for those few people reading this who aren't my friend in real life & so therefore haven't heard & read about this all over the place & constantly for the last two weeks) I'm recently engaged, & if there's one thing that makes for excellent time-wasting, it's wedding blogs. Also, I recently got an iPhone, & if there's another thing that makes for excellent time-wasting, it's Angry Birds (isn't Angry Birds the silliest, most mindless thing ever? & for that reason isn't it wonderful?).

I think place is pretty important for any kind of writing. Here is where I can work well: on the train from Dublin to Mayo, on the train from Mayo to Dublin, in the veranda of the house in Mayo until it gets too hot, on the apple-green couch in the house in Mayo with a cup of earl grey until I get too cold, sitting on the kitchen step in the back garden in the sunlight with a glass of lemonade, squinting at the laptop screen & shooing the cat away from the keyboard.

The problem is that I can't always be on a train, & when I'm in Dublin I can't be in the house in Mayo (for obvious reasons), & when it rains I can't sit on the kitchen step in the back garden in the sunshine (sitting on the kitchen step in the back garden in the rain just doesn't have the same appeal). I've tried turning off the internet to get away from wedding blogs but I still have my iPhone. I've tried hiding my phone but I don't have any secret hiding places from myself, & even with no phone & no internet I find the cat gets quite distracting when I tempt him to chase a ribbon.

Help me, fellow deadline-dreaders! How do you cope with the psychological heebeejeebees? How do you even spell heebeejeebees? Do you have any tried & tested anti-procrastination techniques? Or would you rather I posted a picture of my cat? (He's a very lovely cat. He has a heart on his nose.) Do you think I'll get this chapter in on time? I'll match any bet against. Oh dear. Even this post is a type of procrastination. Pity me, dear reader, it looks like I'm doomed.


  1. I think this nails it.

    But if that sounds impractical, I found this to be helpful.

  2. I really like that first link! I did end up using a timer yesterday, in twenty minute bursts, one working and the next procrastinating, & ended up getting a lot more done than I had in the few days before that. Thank you! That's a system I'll vouch for!