Eternal delay in scientific work – Procrastination

2 min read

In recent years, the topic of procrastination has been treated more extensively than ever before. A barrage of guidebooks are telling us tons of well-meant, more or less meaningful tips on how to get rid of the unpleasant habit.

In fact, the problem of postponing one’s own work seems to be very widespread – especially in activities that are not subject to external control at first – after all, it’s just the (still far-off) deadline to which the work belongs has to be finished.

The excuses that the brain sets up are manifold; You start anyway anyway. As long as crumbs are still on the table, you can not work anyway. Today is the first sport, then it is tomorrow rested to work. To start, I need a coffee first. I just want to look quickly, if there are new entries on Facebook …

Different kind of procrastination

It is also possible that some people have a different kind of procrastination in addition to the short-term (but perpetual) shift: To address the problem of their “cussing”, they first order a stack of guidebooks, whose reading then devours those weeks in which the work should have been written. Others suffer from perfectionism or the simple fear of the empty leaf, which does not let them produce a single sentence.

Thematic scientific work is not a “job” practiced from morning to afternoon, but a perpetual topic that involves not only rational thinking but also the emotional side. Often enough, no direct work progress (in the sense of written pages or read essays) can be measured, because new questions come to the fore.

To solve the problem of permanent postponement, it helps to look at its origins; Trading is always in the present, planned for the future. It is a convenient self-delusion to assume that the future is free from all that makes working in the present seemingly impossible; Thoughts, feelings and problems will usually persist and affect the future as well. No matter how much time is available – the text will always be created in the here and now. And the sooner it comes about, the more relaxed the entire work process becomes.

Studies have shown that a principally rational approach (late deadline to save time for writing and revising) often does not produce good results and promotes procrastination; The days go one by one, and the months until the delivery melt away almost unnoticed until it is almost too late. On the other hand, those who have to deliver texts at shorter intervals are more likely to work.

For example, one form of pressure can be achieved when other people are involved in the work process: It is harder to squeeze when a relentless proofreader demands a text once or twice a month. Even the carrot can be used: Instead of many unpleasant things to do before, pleasant things – a movie or a meal with friends – can be used as a reward. But only if enough was written before!

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