Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

© Nick Feamster and Alex Gray 2006-2007 Motivation and Procrastination Nick Feamster and Alex Gray College of Computing Georgia Institute of Technology.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "© Nick Feamster and Alex Gray 2006-2007 Motivation and Procrastination Nick Feamster and Alex Gray College of Computing Georgia Institute of Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Motivation and Procrastination Nick Feamster and Alex Gray College of Computing Georgia Institute of Technology

2 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray

3 Motivation The Ph.D. is a long process It requires tenacity –It is more like a marathon than a sprint It is natural at times to lose excitement about a problem, your work, etc. –The key is to make continual progress, punctuated by breaks at the appropriate times (and of the appropriate lengths)

4 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Tips for Staying Motivated Work efficiently –An overworked brain cannot be creative –Pace yourself. Do not burn out Take personal time Take thinking time Take slack time (plan this) ???

5 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Causes of Procrastination Anxiety Fear of failure Lack of energy Lack of focus Indecision

6 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Anxiety about Complexity Problem: The task feels too complicated, and you dont know where/how to start Solution: Break task into small chunks –Multi-resolution chunks are good. Things that can be done: Between activities/mtgs (dont waste gap time) By lunchtime By the end of the day By the end of the week –Example: Write one (sub)section of a paper by the end of the day. Write a paragraph by lunch –Making use of small time blocks (a productivity tool) goes hand-in-hand with this tactic

7 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Anxiety about Unpleasant-ness Problem: The task is not pleasant. It requires something youd rather avoid (real work, confrontation, etc.) Solution: Consider the (potentially disastrous) implications of putting it off –If possible, again, break the task up into smaller chunks –You may discover that the task is more palatable in tidbits

8 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Fear of Failure Problem: You fear that once you complete something, it will not be good enough Solution: Get started –Plan to throw one away. – Fred Brooks –Apply the 80/20 rule Perfection is rarely attainable Fortunately, it is also rarely necessary

9 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Lack of Energy Problem: Feeling too lethargic to accomplish any major tasks Solution: Stay rested. Work efficiently. –Different times of day will be better than others for certain types of work. Recognize and organize –Take naps

10 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Lack of Focus Problem: You are easily distracted (phone calls, , IM, RSS, Facebook, officemates, etc.) Solution: Create time blocks with no distractions –Dont check , etc. first thing. Do something worthwhile first –Try to arrange some aspects of your work so that you can work without Internet connectivity (Its possible. People work on planes, etc.) –Make lists of manageable tasks to accomplish Work on them in small chunks (crawl, walk, run) –Limit multitasking

11 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Indecision and Lack of Prioritization Problem: You cant decide where to get started, whats important, etc. Solution: Goal setting, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, etc. –Do the most important task first. Do it now. –Never lose sight of your ultimate goals –Continually ask yourself whether the task you are about to perform will help you get there

12 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Structured Procrastination Ever notice that youre most productive when you are at your busiest? Problem: Parkinsons Law –Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Solution: Put off the not important tasks until they become urgent. This leaves time for the important, non- urgent tasks (e.g., your research) Example: If a homework assignment is due at the end of the day, dont start it at 9 a.m. Note: This method requires discipline. Its a very calculated way to put things off. It does not mean putting everything off.

13 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Other Procrastination Hacks Indefinite procrastination –Some problems simply go away if you ignore them (someone else can answer the ) Public pressure –If you tell other people you are going to do something, you are now accountable Rewards –After I finish this experiment, I will get a coffee. (and not before)

14 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Procrastination Hacks Burst+Break –Good ideas often come quickly. They dont require slogging, so much as relatively short bursts of extreme creativity. –The same can be said of many aspects of productivity (e.g., coding, paper writing, etc.) –Your brain will work in the background during breaks (including sleep!) Delegate –If its unpleasant and not in your top k goals, you might be best off entrusting the job to someone else

15 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Reading: A Scientific Theory for Procrastination Bender et al., Scheduling Algorithms for Procrastinators Key results –For online scheduling, there exist adversaries that force procrastinators to miss due dates –Stretch = flow time/(due date – release time) –Hit the highest nail has arbitrary interval stretch

16 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Productive Procrastination If you must procrastinate, at least do something useful Options –Personal correspondence –Mundane tasks: Paying bills, etc. –Learn: Branch out into a new area (e.g., read an article about physics, politics, etc.) You will become familiar with thesis avoidance later in your career

17 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Avoiding Having to Motivate Yourself Passion –Make sure that you are spending a significant fraction of your time doing something you want to be doing Habits –Put structure around your day –Have a productive routing

18 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Ask Why? Why are you doing this in the first place? –If you cant figure out why you are doing it, it might not even be worth doing Why are you having trouble working? –Will help you isolate the source of the problem and fix it –Anxiety, fear of failure, etc.

19 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Build Momentum with Small Steps Work on doing something for five minutes Develop a plan early in the day Break the problem into next steps

20 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray Consider Your Environment Get a partner who will also work with you –Company –Competition/guilt –Accountability Get the right tools for the job

21 © Nick Feamster and Alex Gray References 11 Causes and Cures for Procrastination causes-and-cures-for-procrastination/ causes-and-cures-for-procrastination/ Overcome procrastination once and for all procrastination-once-and-for-all.html procrastination-once-and-for-all.html Structured Procrastination Thirteen tricks to motivate yourself tricks-to-motivate-yourself.html


Download ppt "© Nick Feamster and Alex Gray 2006-2007 Motivation and Procrastination Nick Feamster and Alex Gray College of Computing Georgia Institute of Technology."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google