No Motivation

Feelings and emotions regarding depression, anxiety and other health issues.

Moderators: windsong, BlueGobi, Moderators, Maelstrom, Astrid, vince13

cloud21
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:05 pm

No Motivation

Postby cloud21 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:09 pm

I have close to zero motivation. I'm in my last year of my Ph.D program and am supposed to be working on my dissertation. I spent a whole semester (last Fall semester) making absolutely zero progress. I find myself just sitting here, not even willing to open up the Word document that contains the draft of my proposal work. I just don't understand, I have always been motivated to achieve my goals. I just really hope my motivation comes back soon

ithinkiamtherefore
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:26 pm

Re: No Motivation

Postby ithinkiamtherefore » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:16 pm

Hi there! So sorry to hear that you're struggling to move forward on your dissertation. I'm a writer myself, and I struggle with crippling bouts of writer's block, procrastination, and an overall loss of motivation a lot of the time. Not that this necessarily applies to your situation, but when I'm anxious about a big project, I find that it's about the immenseness of it, the sheer weight and totality of the task that I've built up in my mind for so long. I want it to be perfect, and I know it never will be, so I can't even manage to begin. I find that I can't get started because the idea of ever finishing and accomplishing the task feels impossible. A dissertation is a big project, and it's okay to feel anxious about it. You're so close to your Ph.D, which means you're clearly capable, and that's amazing! Remember why you started this program. Think about that. The dissertation topic is hopefully something you're interested in, and that you care deeply about, but I imagine you're worried about meeting your own expectations. There are two strategies my therapist taught me that might be helpful for you. The goal is to make the task feel less daunting, to eliminate some of the dread and the fear of not living up to your potential.

1) Write a nonsense opening sentence (and change it later.) Something like: I am writing my dissertation because I am smart and capable. Or even, This is my first sentence because I need to start somewhere. And just keep going. Free-write about your topic, brainstorm, rant, put literally anything on the page and eventually I'm confident you will wind up writing your dissertation. It just might take a few paragraphs of rambling to get there. Remember that whatever you put down is a first draft and does not need to be perfect. It'll be great eventually, but it'll never get there if you don't put anything on the page. You can always edit later. For now, just get your jumbled thoughts on paper. You can rearrange and organize another day. Also, if typing makes you delete everything and start over, try old-fashioned handwriting to start out. Don't let yourself erase and edit as you go, just scribble until something clicks.

2) Divide and Conquer. The best way to tackle a big project is to divide it up into smaller, more manageable parts. Don't think about the whole dissertation. Think about paragraph one. Then paragraph two. But don't let yourself be overwhelmed by the end goal. Set a goal for the day, (and each day after that), and make it achievable. Whether that's 500 words, 2 pages, whatever works for you. If there's a section of your dissertation that is the most clear or interesting to you, write that part first. Let yourself celebrate when you reach a new goal, and give your mind breaks to pause and reset for the next task.

It's a big challenge and I know that you're struggling, but I think you can do this if you set small goals for yourself along the way.

cloud21
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:05 pm

Re: No Motivation

Postby cloud21 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:42 pm

Thank you so much for the advice ithinkiamtherefore!

sam3321
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed May 13, 2020 1:35 pm

Re: No Motivation

Postby sam3321 » Wed May 13, 2020 1:48 pm

ithinkiamtherefore wrote:Hi there! So sorry to hear that you're struggling to move forward on your dissertation. I'm a writer myself, and I struggle with crippling bouts of writer's block, procrastination, and an overall loss of motivation a lot of the time. Not that this necessarily applies to your situation, but when I'm anxious about a big project, I find that it's about the immenseness of it, the sheer weight and totality of the task that I've built up in my mind for so long. I want it to be perfect, and I know it never will be, so I can't even manage to begin. I find that I can't get started because the idea of ever finishing and accomplishing the task feels impossible. A dissertation is a big project, and it's okay to feel anxious about it. You're so close to your Ph.D, which means you're clearly capable, and that's amazing! Remember why you started this program. Think about that. The dissertation topic is hopefully something you're interested in, and that you care deeply about, but I imagine you're worried about meeting your own expectations. There are two strategies my therapist taught me that might be helpful for you. The goal is to make the task feel less daunting, to eliminate some of the dread and the fear of not living up to your potential.

1) Write a nonsense opening sentence (and change it later.) Something like: I am writing my dissertation because I am smart and capable. Or even, This is my first sentence because I need to start somewhere. And just keep going. Free-write about your topic, brainstorm, rant, put literally anything on the page and eventually I'm confident you will wind up writing your dissertation. It just might take a few paragraphs of rambling to get there. Remember that whatever you put down is a first draft and does not need to be perfect. It'll be great eventually, but it'll never get there if you don't put anything on the page. You can always edit later. For now, just get your jumbled thoughts on paper. You can rearrange and organize another day. Also, if typing makes you delete everything and start over, try old-fashioned handwriting to start out. Don't let yourself erase and edit as you go, just scribble until something clicks.

2) Divide and Conquer. The best way to tackle a big project is to divide it up into smaller, more manageable parts. Don't think about the whole dissertation. Think about paragraph one. Then paragraph two. But don't let yourself be overwhelmed by the end goal. Set a goal for the day, (and each day after that), and make it achievable. Whether that's 500 words, 2 pages, whatever works for you. If there's a section of your dissertation that is the most clear or interesting to you, write that part first. Let yourself celebrate when you reach a new goal, and give your mind breaks to pause and reset for the next task.

It's a big challenge and I know that you're struggling, but I think you can do this if you set small goals for yourself along the way.



you have summarised it amazingly


Return to “Expressions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests