helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

  • Mood:

FINALLY doing some work.

Today I have been trying to get some work done after having procrastinated for TOO LONG. I got to the point where I hadn't done academic work for so long that I had The Fear about starting again. I have been and still am ill, with some sort of virus - I half-wrote but never got round to posting a discussion of whether it is Epstein-Barr again (bloody thing comes back whenever your immune system is a bit low) or "just" a killer cold, but whatever it is has been totally wiping me out. I've been ill for three weeks now, and am only just now breathing well enough to have some semblance of my normal energy level. Also, Not Breathing Well Makes You Stupid (copyright artremis), so for two of these past three weeks I really couldn't think at all.

The thing about being behind on work is that in order to start again, I need to get to that magical point where the fear of what will happen if I don't do the work is higher than the fear of what will happen if I do. It's paralysing until then, which is why there's fairly weighty psychology behind the idea of "tell yourself you'll do 10 minutes and then stop". It's the initial activation energy of getting going that's the problem, not the work itself. It's doubly ironic in that explaining science things is one of my favourite activities, and I actually like and enjoy this particular subject! (In an intellectual sense, of course - I don't like the concept of horrible genetic disorders).

I am also still annoyed that, as usual, the university authorities are dishonest as to the true reason why I have to write the first chapter of my PhD thesis now. They are claiming it solely as an assessment exercise, but it's clear that isn't the full story. More likely, it's because every year, hundreds of PhD students fail to complete because they don't write up their theses, because they look at the blank computer screen and go into a wild frothing panic of procrastination. I suppose they think if we have to write a report every year, then the final thesis is just combining the existing reports and writing a bit more on top, and therefore it's much more likely that we'll finish. I would like it so much better if they admitted that was the reason - not least of all because it would give reassurance to those of us with anxiety problems, for whom every report is as difficult as the first.

...I think I shall feed that back through the Anxiety and Depression Group and see if it can get pointed out to any highers-up.
Tags: chronic fatigue, disease, literature report

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