I am in the long and arduous process of writing a master\’s thesis and the experience has taught me not only about the process of conducting a full qualitative sociological research project, but has also taught me about my own process of productive, or lack thereof. My thesis requires hours and hours of work sitting at my computer, looking things up, reading, writing, etc. Not very active. Not very social. However, in order to keep my sanity in tact I need to get out of my apartment and do something and socialize with others as I\’m very extroverted and the antisocial thing just doesn\’t work for me. So, here\’s how my process has been going lately.
1) I\’ll work on my thesis
2) I\’ll resent having to work on my thesis and look for something else to do
3) I\’ll pick up a relatively mindless, random and highly addictive hobby of some sort (like Pokemon….don\’t judge me!) to counteract my taxing thesis
4) I\’ll spend way too much time engaging in my hobby (that is neither productive nor fulfilling)
5) I\’ll feel emotionally unfulfilled because I\’m sitting in my pajamas watching my Gyrados level up…so sad!
6) I\’ll force myself to do something productive but not immediately necessary, like clean the apartment so I can trigger some kind of productivity chain reaction. However, I\’ll be a little OCD about it to counteract my previous stage of complete lack of laziness.
7) I\’ll finally start working on my thesis, only to repeat the cycle.
It\’s not a good system. It doesn\’t even work well and it\’s helped me discover one very important thing about myself. In order for me to perform at my best, I need to do something productive every day. It doesn\’t need to be a huge thing and I don\’t need to overload myself, but I need to do something productive and truly interact with other people. I\’m starting to realize that one person cannot fulfill my interactional needs, something I was convinced would happen when I found \”the one\”. I need a variety of people, my boyfriend, my family, my friends to really feel fully fulfilled and happy with my life. I need to feel good about what I\’m doing with myself by being productive and working on meaningful project. I used to love the idea of being a stay-at-home mom/wife where I wouldn\’t have to find a job and just be domestic all day watching daytime television and doing things on my own time in my own wonderful home. Now, I dread even thinking about that. To be at home all day waiting for my husband to get home for us to continue to stay home all night. That sounds more like house arrest to me. And that\’s only a personal thing. There are some women who would be fine with that and love that even. Those homebodies do exist. I lived with one. I\’m not one of them. It wouldn\’t work for me. I\’m starting to realize that more and more.
So, I\’m stuck with a couple questions. How can I get myself out of my cyclical schedule that makes me so unhappy? What can I do to balance productive work time with fulfilling leisure time that won\’t make my brain just explode? What are some activities that I can do when I\’m alone that involve me leaving the apartment, but are still safe? And when should I evolve my Pikachu?
\”Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.\” – Paul J. Meyer