Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dissertating and Friends Don't Mix?

During coursework, it was comparatively easier for me to"ignore" friends who were visiting and spend my time reading or writing instead. Now that I am working on my dissertation, I am finding it hard for me have friends over to my place at all. When they come, I feel guilty for not entertaining them.

I could not figure out why I felt so differently. Until now.

During coursework, I had to report to a professor. There was a deadline imposed upon me. And since all of my friends understoodd what it is like to have to meet a project deadline (or get it trouble with the professor), it was easy for me to excuse myself from their presence to meet my deadline. I was still a "good person," just busy.

However, any deadline for my dissertation is self-imposed. To ignore friends when they visit now feels more like self-centeredness. I have no professor on whom to blame my inhospitable behavior. I am just rude, or bad, or selfish to not spend time interacting with them. In addition, because this dissertation takes so long to do, it feels like I am forever ignoring them.

Perhaps I just have a problem with discipline. If I could discipline myself to get the work done *when* I am supposed to do it, then I could very well balance family, social, and dissertating life a lot better than I am currently doing it.

To whip or not to whip myself. That is the question.


Anonymous said...

Thanks LD 4 your comment is what I needed to hear at the moment. Yah hopefully I when I go back to the subject it will be much easier.

Scholar Wannabe said...

Omigosh, I SO completely understand exactly what you're talking about!!!

I don't think that self-discipline is the only factor. Doctoral students have a lot of responsibilities. On the one hand, we do need to manage our time. On the other hand, we actually have a LOT of different responsibilities on our plates (teaching and counselling, for instance, take up a lot of time).

So, I would say "not to whip."

Lonely Dissertator said...

SW: Thanks for your encouragement. I always think of you as standing on a much higher pedestal where discipline in concerned. Forcing myself to study when I am uncomfortable is not my forte. The last time I did it, I ended up fainting--remember? I don't want a repeat performance, but I think I need to work harder and embrace more pain than I am currently allowing myself. I just don't want to have a burn-out experience and end-up hating my dissertation. I've swung over a little too much towards the lenient side of the pendulum; it's time to swing over just a bit to the disciplined side. Not all the way, just enough until there is a sense of true balance. I'm thinking a minimum of 3 "timed-hours" of work per day would be adequate. I usually get more than 3 if I aim for it.