Please not now. I will do it later. First something else. Oh well, too late, I will do it tomorrow.
I can hear myself thinking.
Procrastination. Delaying your PhD. No interest in doing anything. It doesn’t really matter how you call it. It matters what you should do about it. Not doing anything often results in feelings of guilt and stress. All together a scenario that makes it even harder to act.
You aren’t lazy
Many PhD students are under the impression that they are lazy when delaying actions. However, often something else is the root cause. Procrastination is linked with feelings associated with doing certain things, like feelings of insecurity, anxiety, irritation or anger and has nothing to do with laziness. Addressing these feelings could be a great start.
The 3-minute rule
The 3-minute rule is a practical and scientifically validated method to deal with procrastination. How does it work?
Do you feel you are starting to delay tasks? Make the agreement with yourself that you will start doing your task and only for 3 minutes. If after the 3 minutes you still don’t feel like it at all, you are allowed to stop.
It appears that 98% of the people who start doing something for only 3 minutes, will actually continue working and even finish the job. Before you know it, the 3 minutes have extended to 6, 9 and even more minutes and you are done!
Why is this 3-minute rule so successful? As soon as you have taken action, procrastination has vanished and it will be so much easier to focus on the job. Once started, you will enter a flow-like state.
So what prevents you from introducing this simple rule?