A productive day? Today an idea was born.

11 Aug

I wake at midday and choose to postpone movement from my bed for half an hour. Tossing and turning I begin to think about the tasks that lay ahead of me. Task 1: hoover up; Task 2: clean the kitchen; Task 3: think of a dissertation idea; Task 4: formulate a brainstorm; Task 5: search the web to further explore my dissertation idea (note to self: do not to get distracted by internet clothes shopping). Breaking down the tasks gives me order to my day but will I succeed in completing all the tasks and is cleaning the house really a priority? At this early stage I think I can allow cleaning to take priority as for me a clean house means a clean mind.

My inner motivator, who I name motor tells me, ‘Lying in bed is not productive, it is now afternoon, you need to get up, get a shower (which will make you feel 100 times better than you do now), hoover the room, clean the kitchen and begin work on your dissertation. You can do this, take it one step at a time. Remember success is dedication’. I listen to motor and scrape myself out of my bed. Walking to the shower I feel a sense of happiness and commitment while thinking about what motor said to me. I smile, jump into the shower and sing blissfully (singing random sentences which do not link to any known song). Ten minutes later I am downstairs completing tasks 1 and 2, which takes me a matter of minutes.

It is 1pm when I feel ready to sit down to begin work on formulating a research idea. Notepad by my side I sit on the sofa thinking about what interests me in relation to Early Years. I am home alone so I feel I can work downstairs without distraction. I stare across the room, an intense feeling of dread rides over me and my motivation deteriorates. Why? Because I am over thinking the task ahead. I open my notepad and look at the page full of words and doodles that was created yesterday. Motor tells me ‘this is your starting point. Take this as the beginning and use it to generate ideas. They will be something on this page that sparks an interest. Pick the key ideas out and place them onto a new A4 sheet’. I follow motors instructions by opening my notepad to a new page. I lay it so it faces landscape and I place my variety of coloured Berol® pens at the side of me. Scanning yesterday’s sheet of A4 paper I begin to pick out the key terms that spark an interest. Half an hour passes and I look at my newly formed dissertation ideas sheet. I see there are 10 key themes; I examine the themes deeply and pick one that allows for two ideas to be established. How do I go about extending these? A brainstorm for each of course.

It is now 3pm. I have gathered two ideas under one main theme. Looking at my notepad I can see two colourful brainstorms. I feel a sense of relief but I do not feel 100% satisfied with the work I have completed. My mind cannot come to a good overall conclusion of each idea, I cannot think realistically about what it is I am wanting to achieve. It is time for a break.

I stroll into the kitchen and flick the switch on the kettle and wait for it to boil. I am stood there deliberating the next step to take in summing up my two brainstorms. Should I think of a one line sentence for each, or, should I look into them more thoroughly via the online library catalogue search? The kettle bubbles and the boil concludes, I make myself a mint hot chocolate and take myself back into the living room.

Notepad back in front of me, hot chocolate by my side, I take each brainstorm one at a time and sum the ideas up into one sentence. This task only takes me half an hour. Brainstorms summed up it is time to delve deeper and browse secondary resources.

Task 5 begins but I have little motivation. I feel distracted from the task at hand and all I want to do is break of from it.

Now at 9pm I am sat feeling overwhelmed. I have browsed the internet and the university online library catalogue which has resulted in me coming to the conclusion that there is information out there on both ideas. I begin to question the next steps to take. Do I form aims and objectives for one of the ideas, or both? Do I write down why I want to do this, what I want to find out and how I plan to answer my research question? The uncertainty is a heavy weight on my shoulder and I feel a desperate need to give in for today. Motor begins to talk to me again, telling me to carry on and read the ‘planning your dissertation’ book by Kate Williams. I follow motors instruction in a half-hearted manner.

Twenty minutes passes. I have read to page 26 and inner motivation has returned. Williams provides a step-by-step guide to help the reader along their dissertation journey and this instantly provides comfort. To add to this the guide offers the opportunity to complete questions and workshops to allow for deep thinking. This in itself relaxes me and I tell myself to complete these workshops for both dissertation ideas. Another bonus feature of Williams’s book is its size- it is small enough to put into your handbag. I would say, from this short read, that this book is going to be one of my lifelines throughout my dissertation journey.

Despite being unsure on the next steps to take I have achieved today’s goal. I plan to follow by completing Williams’s workshops and by translating deeper thoughts into aims and objectives.

The transition to my bedroom has been made. I feel tired and overwhelmed but motor reassures me that today has been a successful day.

Today an idea, be it more than one, has been born.

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