A great end to an unproductive couple of days. Tonight I go to sleep smiling.

14 Aug

Progress came to a halt and motor did not speak to me for two days. This saddened me and as a result I spent many hours staring and procrastinating; staring blankly into the distance, thinking about absolutely nothing of significance, and fulfilling other, more intriguing tasks that do not relate to my dissertation. You will be pleased to know however some of the procrastination hours were spent relaxing with the people I love releasing both joy and ease.

Today I wake at 10.30am and the first thing that springs to mind is that I have to do my supermarket shop. I pull myself out of bed and drag myself to the shower. While I shower Motor, who has been silent as of late, begins to talk to me ‘Today you will take it one step at a time, you will set yourself a goal and achieve it. This will make you feel content and you will go to bed smiling’. This in itself makes me feel positive about the day ahead.

Arriving at the supermarket at 11.30 am I still feel motor pushing me to have a productive day. As I walk around the supermarket I think about the previous two days and as mentioned above they were not productive. Reflecting makes me realise that today has to be successful, I must make some progress and I must allow the worries to escape from me.

Time passes quickly and the journey home begins at 12:50pm. I use the bus journey home to switch off from dissertation related thoughts. Radio on, newspaper in hand, I delve into another world of criminals and celebrities (yes that is all there ever seems to be in modern-day news).

When I arrive home at 1.30pm I dedicate an hour to unpack my shopping and stick up my mid-year annual planner onto my bedroom wall.

2.30pm: it is time to get my head around doing some work towards my dissertation. I am at the planning stage for the research proposal or should I say at the stage of attaining my preliminary idea and its aim and objectives. To do this I have to think of aims and objectives for each idea that I have gathered, as this will eliminate the weaker of the bunch. Motor speaks, ‘set yourself todays tasks and break them down. You should look at Williams’s book (the one mentioned in the previous blog) because she will help you by providing you with workshops to complete’. I set myself three main tasks. Task 1: Complete some of the activities in Williams’s book; Task 2: answer questions from other dissertation prep books; and finally Task 3: create aims and objectives for each idea.

Task 1 begins at 2.50pm. I am working from the kitchen table today because I need to be free from distraction and, yes, this is the only place in my house where there are no distractions that allow for procrastination. Before work begins I walk over to the radio and tune it to a decent station. Back sat down at the table I position my Berol® pens north-east of me in a uniform line and my notepad is directly in front of me. My brain activates.

It is 4pm and I am progressing well; both tasks 1 and 2 have merged together. I have defined the research task and how to do it (this was an activity set on page 3 of Williams’s book) and I have extended this by brainstorming, for each idea, why it is of interest, the implications, who, what and how. A break is needed before I go onto the next activity set in Williams’s book. So far my mood is staying positive and I am even feeling slightly enthusiastic about the future of my dissertation.

A hot chocolate (a caramel flavoured one today) and a slice of toast later the work continues.

I put the cap back onto the blue Berol® pen, sit back in my chair, sigh a little and look at the time on the cooker; it is 6:15pm and I have completed all of the activities in Williams’s book for the initial topic building stage, meaning I have achieved tasks 1 and 2 for today. I spread the 4 sheets of paper out in front of me and I examine the progress I have made. I sit examining these for 10 minutes while I begin to think about task 3. From completing the former tasks I have broken down my ideas but the next challenge is to create aims and objectives for these. Motivation and dedication has somewhat deteriorated so I pull myself away from the work for 5 minutes. Within these 5 minutes I walk around the house and eat strawberries while I listen to Motor. By 6.30pm I am sat back at the table with newly found motivation. Motor made me aware that I have already come a long way today and that the next step is a big one; one that will help me determine my preliminary dissertation idea which will be transformed into a research proposal. The radio is still on and I sing and move along to the current song, ‘It must have been love’ by Roxette, joyfully whilst disregarding the task ahead of me. As the song finishes I transfer my motivation back to task 3 and inner dedication activates.

One and a half hours later and I decide it is time for my evening meal. I make myself honey-soy glazed salmon with salad. My mind sticks with the dissertation preparation throughout the evening meal period and I keep thinking about how I will extend the work that I have completed so far. I try to tell myself to switch of for 10 minutes but task 3 keeps popping into my mind because I have not yet completed it.

9:30pm I have transferred myself to the living room because my parents have gone up to bed and I want to feel a bit more relaxed; oh and, before I forget to mention, the salmon was delicious. Referring back to today’s progress I can tell you that task 3 is still in the process of being completed. Before my evening meal I had gathered 4 aim examples for each idea, so I guess that just leaves me with the task of establishing some objectives for these. I am feeling a tad resilient, I do not have the dedication that I had earlier. But Motor told me that I would feel content if I achieve all my set tasks, hence why I must plough on through. Web browser open I search SMART objectives and open various links to get a deeper understanding of what it is I need to do. Half an hour passes…I still feel confused because my mind will not focus. Motor comes alive by telling me, ‘get a grip; do a brainstorm from the information on the web searches and break it down; look at examples and then use the newly formed knowledge to create your own objectives. Do no worry about them being perfect at this stage. You have plenty of time to alter and improve them’. Responding to motor I pull my collection of colourful Berol® pens out of my pencil-case, lay them out to my left hand side along with my notepad. I begin by going back to the web searches regarding SMART objectives.

11:35pm and I am ready to break of from this objective setting. I cannot do it tonight, my mind has railed away from it and I do not feel dedicated. A brainstorm breaking down the aspects of SMART objectives has been formed and I have explored some examples online; this should prepare me for when I come to set some objectives tomorrow.

The mere fact that I have not completed task 3 does not cause me to worry or feel dissatisfied. Motor reassures me stating, ‘You have spent a good amount of time working on your ideas and you have gathered a better understanding of where you are heading with your dissertation/research proposal. Be pleased with today’s achievements and complete task 3 tomorrow when you feel more awake and able to do so. You have at least researched SMART objectives and this will stand you in good stead when it comes to preparing some of your own tomorrow’.

I will be going to bed free from worry because I know that I have done the best that I can today. I have not spent the full day procrastinating and I have made a decent amount of progress in a relaxed, stress free manner.

Today has given me a sense of direction and I feel positive regardless of the uncompleted task.

Tonight I go to sleep smiling.

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