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Writing a paper – need help with accountability!

Writing a paper – need help with accountability!2013-04-27T11:41:44+00:00

The Forums Forums Tools, Techniques & Treatments Motivation/Staying on Track Writing a paper – need help with accountability!

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  • #120185

    kmkathymag
    Member
    Post count: 7

    Hello all! I am a graduate student who’s been writing my thesis for about, oh, 2 years now. If I could get a graduate degree in procrastination, I’d be golden. Unfortunately, I need to overcome my anxiety about writing and my anxiety about my chattering mind, and sit and DO IT.

    I used to Skype with another adult student with ADHD, and we’d meet weekday nights to just check in, chat, and then write or research for 1/2 an hour. That was all – 1/2 an hour. I got most of the writing I’ve done by this method.

    Anyway, has anybody else used this method? Would anyone be interested in having an accountability buddy to do whatever project it is you need to do?

    Any suggestions about procrastination in general would also be appreciated. By me. ūüôā

    Kath

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    #120186

    Wgreen
    Participant
    Post count: 445

    Out of curiosity, what’s the subject of your thesis?

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    #120188

    kmkathymag
    Member
    Post count: 7

    It’s about Henry Fielding’s novel Joseph Andrews. I refer to various critics, including Russian Mikhail Bakhtin.

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    #120189

    Scattybird
    Participant
    Post count: 1096

    I find an accountability buddy has to be someone with some control over me or someone I don’t want to let down.

    Many years go when I was trying to write my thesis I went home and asked my Mother to not let me out of my bedroom until I had written the introduction/literature review. She took me at my word and wouldn’t let me out for anything other than essentials. ¬†It worked. I sat through the boredom, the panic that I couldn’t do it and eventually got started. Once I had done that section the rest was easier.

    Now I don’t have that luxury, so I write on a large piece of paper what the task is that I am meant to be doing and it reminds me when my mind wanders.

    Think of the consequences of not getting it done and how good you will feel when it is done. Break it into small sections and reward yourself when a section is complete.

    Of course it’s not that easy and I have spent all morning playing ¬†Angry Birds and playing on the internet instead of getting on with some paperwork.

    So why don’t you check in here tomorrow and tell us how much you have done and I will do the same?

     

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    #120190

    kmkathymag
    Member
    Post count: 7

    Scattybird, thanks so much for your response. I absolutely agree with you about accountability buddies. I had a friend work with me a short time ago, and she was very strict. I had to get through the boredom, the fear and the anxiety to get writing – and I did. There were negative parts of the process (she took waaay to much control, and I lost my sense of my own ideas and how the paper should be organized), but on the other hand, I wrote and worked.

    Very impressive, I have to say, the way you got your thesis written. You knew what you needed, and drove yourself to do it. That takes a lot of courage!

    I might be re-connecting with my Skype/Google+ buddy. Just agreeing to meet for the 1/2 an hour gives me the feeling of obligation that I absolutely need. However anxious I am about writing [and about my own imagined inadequacies], I just won’t let myself goof around when we’ve promised each other to work.

    Lately, I have also, for 5 minutes a day, imagined my ultimate goal to remind me of how important this is, and to imagine a world in which I have actually gotten my thesis DONE.

    Thanks so much for your excellent words and sharing your own experience. Sunday stretches out before me, unstructured, which is the WORST. However, I will make an agreement to do something, and tomorrow night, yes, I will check in here. Good luck with your work also, and I’ll look for your check-in.

    Thanks again!!

    Kath

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    #120193

    Wgreen
    Participant
    Post count: 445

    Just an observation:
    I think this is an important post‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒeven though Kath is yet to find her productivity buddy.
    Consider: Nashville, Tennessee, may be the ADD capital of the world. Everybody there jokes about it, because so many extremely creative, ditzy people live there, attracted by the music business. Music publishing (songwriting) is a huge local industry and one of the most lucrative. And here’s how songwriters work: two people will make a date to get together and spend hours working on a song they intend to pitch to particular artists, producers, A&R execs, etc. But the important point is, it’s a process that seems always to be done in tandem. In fact, around town, you hear people making songwriting dates all the time. Instead of “Hey, let’s do lunch some time,” you hear, “Hey man, we need to get together and write some songs…”

    Taking a page out of the Music Row “song book,” maybe ADDers really should look for buddies who can help them, in situ, get stuff done. Now, in the case of music, it’s always collaborative. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re not working together on the same project, at least you’ve got somebody looking over your shoulder while you look over theirs. Simply make a date to be productive. (When it’s over, you can go back to Angry Birds.) Russell Barkley alluded to the utility, even necessity, of “supervision” in one of his videos. Maybe Nashville songwriters have the secret sauce. Kath, thanks for the post.

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    #120194

    laddybug3
    Member
    Post count: 226

    @kmkathymag I would turn off everything (TV, the internet, my MP3 *put on hold to only play classical music*, my cellphone). Just to do papers.
    Research was done at the library with books only on the topic. If I needed electronic sources, that too was done at the library. They have limits to computer use and I asked someone who worked there to only allow me two hours on one computer. It worked for me.
    Outlines drive me nuts. So I make the outline part of the paper. Using keywords to keep me on topic.
    Always take a break! I find sometimes I hyper focus and that causes me stress. An hour to two hours, or a half an hour of work then break. Have someone else read your paper too.

    Disclaimer: I can’t say this works one hundred percent of the time, but it works for me.

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    #120197

    Robbo
    Member
    Post count: 929

    What an awesome community we have here. It’s really cool to have teachers here. We’re all students, but we can also teach each-other too. I bet I do this a lot by making so many mistakes and then telling you guys about them. I teach ya all what not to do just as much as I might show ya how to manage ADHD.

    Thanks for sharing you guys.

    It’s smart to have an accountability¬†partner. It’s risky too, because I tend to dislike anything like authority in my life. It’s not authority so much as encouragement that a partner can give us. I like to be the encouragement part of the accountability partnership. It’s easy because like a lot of dudes with ADHD, I’m extremely enthusiastic about almost anything. Even boring stuff.

    Cuz I’ll get bored otherwise…

    Hopefully the female¬†partner¬†I’ve been hanging around with will decide I’m a suitable man to help her with her stuff. it ain’t ADD she’s struggling with. Mostly it’s putting up with me, but…

    A romantic relationship is not always the ideal kind of “accountability partner”. Maybe not at all. But It’s a¬†partnership¬†I’ve been working really hard on lately. It’s good to know some men who have experience with romantic relationships.

    I wish we had alil more talk about romantic relationships here. It ain’t easy!!!!.

    It didn’t look like it was going to work out several times over the last few weeks. It’s been hot and very heavy, and it’s developed really really quickly you guys. As you can imagine… I told her right from the beginning “buckle up Dorothy, Kansas is going bye bye”. But she’s one cool¬†cucumber¬†and seems to handle my seriously radical and¬†reckless¬†ADHD ways with the greatest of ease.

    I think… I hope so anyways. Heck, my imagination sometimes goes completely bat shit crazy you guys. But I’m managing to hold myself together…. mostly.

    There’s a decent chance I’m gonna finally slow down and even settle down you guys.

    But I’m also working really hard and getting some accountability partners of the same sex too. I bet it’s even more important now that I’ve got a woman I want to hang around with.

    I can’ depend on her for a ¬†sounding board each and every time I have a struggle in this life. That would simply overwhelm the crap outa her!!!. This is not something I ever want to see…

    If you’ve got aspergers then what I said probably came across and totally disgusting. But I’m fortunately not talking in terms of the literal. For crying out loud you guys, get yer mind out of that gutter!. lol

    Sorry, I’m just talking about how it’s likely that some of my antics have almost driven this fine fine woman in my life straight away from me as fast as she could travel.

    The stuff I’ve learned at this web site, from the videos, and from watching first the video “ADD and Loving It?!, a bunch of times, and lately I’ve watched ADD and Mastering It a couple times too. ¬†Are helping me to actually have a decent romance in my life. It’s been a very long time since I even had any hope at all about finding someone to be in love with.

    I think I may have found her. Yep. Mrs Right. I wont tell you her real name just yet. That would be more risk that I’m willing to take. I will tell ya that the video ADD and Mastering It has been really coming in handy, yep!. A lot!. It’s absolutely packed with dense and thorough solutions to just about every ADHD/ADD related struggle the exists.¬†

    Almost too much solution packed into a single video. But it ain’t too much.

    We are sometimes too much though.

    Ain’t that the truth?.

    So I’m gonna go ahead and watch my silly video again. As soon as one of my ADHD friends who borrowed it brings it back. He forgot it again the last time he came over to help me be accountable with all my ADD related drama… I’m super forgetful, so I gotta be patient when other folks do this.. A lot.

    DGMS

    R-

    PS, I think I’m gonna have to buy another one… or maybe I’ll just watch the add n loving it one… ah crap… Oh, I know,. I’ll meditate. Yep. that’s the ticket!.

    mhmm.

    meditate.

    listen to the brain chatter on purpose!!! AACK!

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    #120206

    kmkathymag
    Member
    Post count: 7

    Hey, folks! I’m on lunch break, so I’ll make this (fairly) short. What great posts! I love the suggestions and ideas and everything. Wgreen, I love your comparison to songwriters in Nashville. Sometimes it feels like writing (and other creative work) means locking yourself up, totally alone. Having companionship and/or partnership makes a huge difference.

    Laddy, good suggestions- which I can use once I get myself to actually sit down and start working. Augh! that’s the biggest problem right now: active and persistent avoidance of facing my paper in any way. Once I finally get myself over that hurdle, which has become a psychological block of ridiculous proportions, I can then focus on: How to I now get myself to write, and to plug through when the going gets uncomfortable? Speaking of MP3s, I bought this CD of Beta (I think) wave music that’s supposed to help with focusing. It’s new agey so I don’t get focused on lyrics or pretty oboe soloes or anything, hee.

    Robbo, I know what you mean about resistance to authority. I had no idea how bad mine was until recently. Having someone who’s just there and doing the same thing – a partner, I guess – is I think what I need. Congrats to you, by the way, on your new romantic partner. How exciting!!

    Scattybird, I did absolutely NOTHING yesterday. well, I took a walk, did some grocery shopping, and read blogs. And caught up on Call the Midwife and fed the cat and watched reruns of Futurama. . .just nothing to do with my paper. However, I finally wrote my advisor, who I’m always sure is going to throw up his hands in frustration and “fire” me as a student. I was supposed to have sent him a short draft weeks ago, and never did. Sigh.

    At least I’m talking about this, right? And I bought some books on tape about procrastinating. While procrastinating. ūüėČ

    Well, today’s another day, and this week another week. who knows what might happen?

    Best to everyone!!

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    #120210

    Scattybird
    Participant
    Post count: 1096

    Kath – it looks to me like you did quite a lot!

    In contrast I sat and stared at a pile of marking, messed about on the Internet, stared a bit more at the marking and stared even more and finally started it at bed time. The result was I stayed up stupidly late to get it done – deadline for marks return was today.

    Since I had to get up early I have been even more scattered than usual so am off to bed now. ¬†I will never procrastinate again. Really, I mean it …..just like all the other times I meant it.

    Robbo – I am so glad you have found a soul mate. That’s lovely.

    What you say Robbo about authority rings true with me. One of my senior colleagues drives me nuts by demanding I do stuff by a certain day (usually now!) but if I am honest she is good for me because deep down I know she is right. Stress-inducing but right.

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    #120219

    Robbo
    Member
    Post count: 929

    Yep, my problem with authority figures runs deep… very deep. It’s been driving me back out into the deepness of the sea, the blue green paradise where some of us need to go to heal.

    I’ll be back though.

    count on it

    R-

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    #120274

    HotinFC
    Member
    Post count: 8

    I found one piece of advice from “ADD and Mastering It” to be absolutely true for me: action makes for motivation, not the other way around. Like the vast majority of ADDers getting started is hard beyond hard. Take a note from NIKE: just do it. Write one word or read one citation and I’ll bet you will be off like a shot. Gentle hugs and encouragement from a fellow traveler ūüôā

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    #120275

    kmkathymag
    Member
    Post count: 7

    Hot, you are so right about action. It’s the inertia that makes it so difficult to ramp up again. And then the paper becomes this huge *thing* that is scarier and scarier. I just haven’t been able to even LOOK at the books or think about the paper.

    However, maybe if that freaks me out, I could, as you say, just even read a citation, or a bit of a book – and just nudge my way in before my mind gets freaked out and knows what I’m doing. ūüėČ

    Thanks so much for the good words. In the next couple of weeks I hope to – nay, I WILL get back to work on this!!!

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    #120278

    witamind
    Member
    Post count: 6

    I need help with this right now. I have no motivation, but I¬†have so much work due for finals. Im in a competitive post-bac program. I have to get a 3.7 or no grad school. Ive asked friends and family to help me be more accountable, but they distract me with fun or don’t follow through. I am great helping others with this but terrible at doing it for myself. If anyone wants to pair up let me know. We can motivate each other!

    DO!                                                              Due:

    A&P Take Home Final                           Due 5/7

    A&P in class Final Exam                      Due 5/8

    Voice Final Exam                                   Due 5/8

    Observation Portfolio                            Due 5/9

    Observation Presentation                    Due 5/9

    Observation Final Reflection              Due 5/9

    Audiology  Case study                            Due 5/10

    Audiology  Presentation                       Due 5/10

    Audiology  Final Exam                         Due 5/10

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    #120281

    Scattybird
    Participant
    Post count: 1096

    Hot – I like that quote from Mastering It – thanks for reminding us. I will make it my mantra.

    witamind – welcome to the forum. ¬†You’ve taken an important first step here by listing when your assignments /exams/presentations are due in. It looks to me like there is a decent amount of time between each key subject area (although it’s not my area so I don’t really know). ¬†You seem to have a month between the core subjects.

    Draft out a plan – so have a diary and block out times for each task. If you don’t have classes to attend then its easy, but you will need to go somewhere that instils the idea that you need to work so a library or specific room set aside just for work. ¬†If you do have classes then time between them can be used for work. So basically get the tasks in your diary.

    If action leads to motivation then chunk up the tasks into manageable bits and build from there.  Anyone can do something for 15 minutes and you might feel like going on once started.

    How about you draft out a revision timetable for the first exams and tell us your plans. You could tell us here each Monday what you are going to do each week and tell us on the Friday if you did it.

    As for motivation……well not doing it will lead to stress and sleepless nights and possible bad grades. Doing it on time will reduce the stress, allow you to sleep well and even have play time……and getting through it all will set you up well for a decent job with potentially higher earnings over your life.

    I have some papers to write by October so am happy to do the same if it helps you. I am hesitating because already I’m thinking that if I do it then I am committed. Maybe commitment is as big an issue as procrastination – at least for me.

     

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