The overwhelming feeling of guilt fails to let me have a complete day free from university work.

24 Aug

After a restless night I wake up at 12pm (late I know but I didn’t actually get to sleep until 5am). I lie in bed gazing up at the roof thinking about the previous two days and the fact that I have not really done any work (this is not necessarily a bad thing because I cannot be doing university work all of the time. For some reason though I feel guilty when I have a day not doing any work. I shouldn’t but I do). An hour passes by and at quarter past one I decide that it is time to get myself up and out of bed. I push the duvet away from me, force myself to get out of bed and scrape my tired body to the bathroom. Leaning on the wall while I wait for the shower to warm up I start to consider what it is I should do today. I set myself 2 main tasks: the first, similar to what I have set myself over the past week, is to read around research methodology, paradigms, ethics and validity/reliability; the second is to decide on what paradigm/ framework will underpin my research.

Tasks set I proceed to take a shower and as I do so I try to wake myself up by humming and jigging about. I finish in the shower and follow by getting dressed into something comfortable. Ten minutes later: I have made the move to the kitchen and I am working on a task, unrelated to my university work, for my partner which involves editing images.

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A bit about the previous two days:

Day 1: Before going to my partner’s house I went into university to do some reading. Staying for 1 hour I managed to read and make notes on generalizability and transferability. Once at my partner’s house I continued to do some university work but I took it at a very steady pace; I did a few more hours of reading and I searched the web for more sources on ‘doing research’ (I purchased a book titled ‘How to do your research project’ by Gary Thomas (it seems quite good)). Throughout the day my emotions were up and down like a rollercoaster I was not in a great mood and I felt very overwhelmed by the whole dissertation task; my thoughts were very much negative and motivation lacked. I proceeded to procrastinate from about 6pm until tea and then again after tea. This made me feel even worse because I was wasting valuable time doing absolutely nothing when I could have been trying to get my head around some of the confusing aspects of research.

Day 2: I was ill and didn’t feel like doing anything at all so I spent the day with my partner planning out the things we will do when we go on holiday (I also helped him with some of his work tasks (he works from home)). I ended the day back at home feeling haunted by the fact that I had not done any university work and I could not resist having a read over one of the chapters in my new ‘How to do your research project’ book that arrived earlier in the day. So, the day was almost work free but my guilt was too overpowering and I had to do some reading before I went to bed (I need to learn to not feel guilty when I have had some time away from the work; I cannot expect myself to do it nearly all day every day).

My new book.

My new book.

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At 3.30pm I stop to go and dye my hair. Hair dye on I walk to the kitchen to make myself something to eat. I pop a couple of slices of bread into the toaster, flick the kettle on and chop up some salad stuff. Toast, salad and tea eaten/drank it is time to go and wash this hair dye of my hair…

Hair dyed, washed and dried I make the move back to the kitchen table to make a start on the tasks set earlier.

I pull my head out of the book that I am reading and look at the clock…it reads 8pm. This shocks me as I have, in my opinion, not done much in the vast amount of time that I have been reading and note making. Surely I can be happy with what I have done though, can I not? This is a question I ask myself but I do not give myself a rational response, I become anxious and stressed. I have read a couple of differing chapters from one book titled ‘Research methodology, a step-by-step guide for beginners’… I tell myself that this is not substantial. Motor interrupts and makes me aware that I should be happy; I have made notes on varying aspects of research and this will all come in use when I start to do my research proposal and dissertation. I sigh a breath of relief and give myself a virtual slap into reality; it is better to read a smaller amount and understand it then it is to read a lot and end the day confused, isn’t it?

I pull myself away from the table at 8.15pm to make myself some food. Exploring the fridge and the cupboards I decide to make myself vegetables in a stir-fry sauce with chicken. As I prepare the swede I consider how I can achieve the tasks I set myself today and the conclusion I come up with is: ensuring successful completion of both task is impossible so the best solution is to continue with them tomorrow. I will continue with task one after I have eaten and hopefully it will be near completion when I go to bed. Solution formed I continue with making my evening meal.

10pm- Food eaten, plates cleaned and a cup of tea made I take myself to the living room to continue with task one.

A couple of chapters read I stop at 11.30pm. I am tired and I do not feel very well but I have had a good day of reading. I will go to bed satisfied with the progress I am making.

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A lot of my time is being spent reading around research methods/methodology but I am hoping it will be worth it; it will help me with choosing my research method(s)/ methodology and ultimately with the whole dissertation process.

Tomorrow should see the completion of the tasks that I set myself today, or at least the completion of task one. Task two could take me some time because I really want to be positive with the paradigm/ framework that will underpin my research.

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At 11.45 I make the move up to my bedroom; before I go to sleep I am going to do some more image editing (for my partner) and then I might watch a film to help take my mind of university work.

I go to bed hoping for a successful, productive and stress free day tomorrow. Oh and fingers crossed I motivate myself to get out of bed earlier!

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I do not know if I am going to continue to post everyday because all my posts seem repetitive and I am sure this is getting annoying for my readers. What do you think? Would you, my readers, like me to continue to post daily (when I can) or would you like less regular and repetitive posts telling you about my progress?
Comments are warmly welcomed.
Thank you for reading.

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