Blog of Sara Jakša

How I Managed to Force Myself to Finish my Master Thesis

The last two weeks, I had spent at the seaside, finishing my economics master thesis. The finished version was already send to my mentor, and I have to say, that I am still coming back for that. I am still tired, probably mostly mentally.

But how did I manage to finish something in two weeks, when I had procrastinated on it for months? I mean, I knew in January that I had enough data and I had procrastinated with that as well? I know that I did not do anything from January to April.

I think there were multiple reasons, most of them connected with solitude. Since it is not a season yet, there were not many people there. I exchanged words with three people, and one of them was the lady selling the bread. Which freed my mental capacities, so I could concentrated on the master thesis only.

The second reason is similar in a way. Because I was there just for master thesis, there was no context switching. I did not anticipated, how much would it help, that I did not had to do this. When I came back to the same project all the time, it was just easier to start.

The third was probably, that I wanted to put it out of my plate, and the grand gesture of travelling an hour and a half and putting everything else aside helped. I remember reading that grand gestures can help with the motivation and it really helped with it.

I have to say, that I still procrastinated. There were three days in these two weeks, that I had done nothing (one was the first day of menstruation, which is understandable). The rest of the day, the day when I put three hours of work was deemed unproductive, and on the productive day I could work 12 hours.

Which is probably why I was exhausted when I came back and why I am still tired.

I am still happy I did this, and I am already planning how I am going to repeat the experiment, when I am going to be finishing my cognitive science master thesis.

But I think, what it also showed me, is that I like working on one project at the time. I don't think this is quite possible in the work-force, especially if one if an entrepreneur. But maybe scheduling things in that way would be helpful. So, work on one thing until it is done or I am stuck, either because I no longer know how to continue forward or because I am waiting for somebody else to do something.

And I could also put this in my leisure. I could stop reading the articles, that are interesting, but are not my main focus. I should do these in the daily bursts as well (or however long am I interested) and put the rest of the time to more focused approach.

Which is why today and tomorrow, I am seeing how many of the notes that I had can I change into blog posts or delete, if they are no longer relevant. I have some of the non-processed notes from 2017, which is horrifying. Because, yes, they are almost two years old.

I don't know if this type of work is for everybody, but I don't know if I would be convinced, if I did not take on this experiment. And I do recommend to everybody, to try.