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For the 1st time in my life, I am unable to do a thing rly. Some advice please?


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Posted (edited)
Hi guys, thank you very much for reading this, I'll try to keep it simple
 
What I need: write my thesis, study for my degree (and start social life, work towards my dreams)
What I tried: planning the day, exercise, pomodoro, writing why I want to finish my degree, hiding my phone, setting a space dedicated for work and free from distraction, chunking down the problem, setting sleep schedule, jurnaling
 
My results: My desk is clean, my thesis document is in front of me and my phone is locked on the other side of the room. I still find it easier to grab it... When I start working my focus is gone after 10 seconds to 10 minutes and I seriously need a break (dose of goo music, Yt video, Ig,...). Some days I am bored, desperately trying to find activities that literally kills time – I am looking forward when I go to sleep to end the day...
 
Background: In a nutshell, I forgot school for a year, started working. At work, I didnt use my brain at all and was bullied, my confidence and beliefs in my capabilities is equal to zero. I got addicted to consuming the internet. In my life I was always motivated to do too many things and didnt fear them, my productivity was not perfect, but quite fine. Now I am unable to do a thing and hating myself while deadlines are rushing closer, I am not sure I am able to pull it off since I already wasted like a year of time
Edited by Vojta
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Posted (edited)

I can relate to this, especially to that first, stubborn resistance when I sit down to write. The only way I've found to get over that resistance is just to start writing anyway, even if the first words from my pen are garbage, even if I'm just restating in different words the writing problem I'm facing at the moment. ("So, I've already written X, and I need somehow to get to Z, but what the heck is Y, and how do I express it in actual words?") Often, that's enough to get me hooked into the task, and I can then sometimes write for an hour or two with only a short break to stretch and walk around a little.

Two things have inspired me in this approach.

One is from the writer Barbara Kingsolver who has said, in effect, that you should not wait for inspiration to start writing, but should instead "chain your muse to a bench" and make it work for you. She writes on a schedule, eight hours a day, even if most of what she writes will never see print. On that basis, she argues that there is really no such thing as "writer's block"! So, when you sit down to write, just write, just get the pen moving and the words flowing, regardless of their merits or their direction. Set a timer, and don't allow yourself to do anything but write while it's running.

The other is a cautionary tale from Camus' novel, The Plague: one of the characters is working on what he hopes will be the greatest novel of his time. He wants to craft a first sentence so perfect and so compelling that readers will immediately recognize his genius and stand to salute him. He struggles and struggles to craft the perfect sentence, but dies of the plague before he can finish even that. The lesson there is: Don't wait until the beginning of what you're writing is perfect before you write other parts of it; in fact, you might consider writing the beginning last. Also: Don't struggle and fuss over any writing that isn't exactly what it should be, at first; the best writing you will ever do is when you are revising something you've already written.

Beyond that, it really doesn't help to get caught up in anxiety and regret, which are likely to send you scrambling back into comforting distraction. Rather, just be where you are, even if it isn't where you wish you were, and find a way forward, one sentence, one paragraph at a time.

Edited by Zeno
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On 5/9/2021 at 8:50 PM, Zeno said:

I can relate to this...

Hi Zeno, thank you for your advice it was a pleasure to read, I will try it out.

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