I sat down to work on my thesis introduction at 1:00pm. Two and a half hours later, I have reviewed the feedback from my last thesis meeting, typed a table of contents, and listed some points I want to make in the intro. My other two hours were spent updating my profile on airbnb.com, coordinating a trip to Chipotle, and finishing an episode of American Dad.
Why can’t I work on this?! Never before has a project felt so daunting that I cannot start. It’s not even a matter of not knowing how or where to begin, but the fear that when I resume, I’ll realize how much work I have left to do.
A professor was telling our class that Ph.D candidates experience something similar – they do not finish because they either feel their work will never be done or…I forget the second reason. When the option is officially available, the standing is ‘Ph.D (ABD)’ – All But Dissertation. Does Haverford have B.A. (ABT) – All But Thesis?
Have you ever felt paralyzed by a project? What strategies do you have for beginning (and persisting)?
*When the introduction revision is due tomorrow, I’ll be back with a more triumphant post, and some strategies, if any, that I use to get me there.