Total procrastination mode

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in Plastics. General Surgery. ITU. Oncology.

Ugh! I'm having to do a short (6 months) course at university to acquire some required skills and knowledge pertinent to my current employment in Oncology.

Faced with (cue ominous music) the horror of actually having to write an essay I go into total procrastination mode. ANY displacement activity will do rather than sitting staring blankly at the flashing cursor in Word.

Honestly I'm horrible at this stuff. I already have an honours degree and am not unfamiliar with academic papers but I find myself cleaning the fridge, arranging my DVD's into alphabetical order,cleaning the kitty litter tray and posting on here ANYTHING but start writing the wretched paper.

Any motivational tips?

Specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing.

Operant conditioning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reward (Reinforce) your behavior when you complete your assignment

Do not reward the negative (procrastination)

You laugh, but it works. I've used this stuff on myself.

Specializes in PACU, OR.

I used to LOVE writing essays, but I haven't exercised my writing skills for years...

Maybe I should write it for you????

Perhaps for a little financial consideration...? bit of foreign currency would come in useful :yeah::yeah::yeah:

Specializes in Plastics. General Surgery. ITU. Oncology.

You got a deal there girl!:cool:

Let's call it £50. GAHHHH see how you are all helping me to procrastinate?

Confusticate and bebother the instrument of Satan the Interwebz :)

LOL! I know exactly what you mean. I used to go pull weeds, clean out the refrig, dust the shelves, vacuum under the couches . . . anything, to avoid doing the assignment!!

Specializes in pediatrics.

Haha, I'm just like that too! Nothing gets my room cleaner than a paper due tomorrow. :)

Hopefully you can focus. It's only 6 months. You should make a paper chain! And celebrate each day as you take a loop off! :D

Specializes in Plastics. General Surgery. ITU. Oncology.

Ah sunnycalifRN you are a person after my own heart.

Strange how attractive cleaning the bathroom becomes when you have to write an assignment ;)

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

I learned this trick in a writing class. I sit down at the computer with no pressure to write THE paper. I just tell myself that I will brainstorm my thoughts regarding the topic. I type in the brainstorming mode: very little punctuation, no editing, just stream of consciousness.I consistently find that doing this while truly promising myself that I don't have to do anymore for now leads to a great start to the paper. What seems to happen is that I (a) get involved in the topic by just brainstorming, and (b) my internal "editor" is so strong that I can't leave the stream of consciousness writing alone...I feel compelled to rework it, rewrite it, make something of it. And of course, once you've got the skeleton outline, the rest will usually follow.Works every time for me!

Specializes in Health Information Management.

What do you think I'm doing on this site right now? ;) Trust me, you aren't the only one suffering from the procrastination bug!

Specializes in Plastics. General Surgery. ITU. Oncology.

We are the procrastinators

We'd rather be peeling our 'taters

When it comes to the crunch

I have a hunch

We'd rather be doing it laters


The main reason why you might find yourself procrastinating is due to the fact that you all ready made your mind up you are going to fail. I recommend you approach the essay differently. You should seek assistance from experts. If you do not have friends who are talented in this area; I am sure your college certainly offers such help. You need to set a goal for yourself: that you are not only going to get the assignment completed, you are going to do it well. Believe me, no one likes to complete any assignment where one's efforts and time are met with only a reward of F- Failure. Start early, get help, have fun, and get a good grade!:yeah::lol2:

Specializes in Surgical/MedSurg/Oncology/Hospice.

Fellow procrastinator here...what's worked for me in the past is:

-Reminding myself how much I paid for the course, and that failure to do well would be money down the drain:uhoh3:

-Making an outline/list of bullet point stats/topics I may want to address in the essay:idea:

-Getting together with people in the same class and comparing notes/ideas...I realize this is probably not a group assignment, but sometimes getting together with a group of people to hash out the point of the essay helps to organize your thoughts.

If the topic isn't one that is preassigned by your instructor, go with a subject that you are interested in or passionate about. I am have been working in oncology/hospice since I graduated about 1.5yrs ago, and my daughter is a cancer survivor (9 yrs in remission, just turned 10yrs old!) so topics of interest that I wrote about were the late effects experienced by childhood cancer survivors, how a cancer dx effects the whole family and how holistic/family centered nursing can be applied.

Now stop contemplating cleaning out the refridgerator and get to work, lol! Good luck on the paper:D

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