18 September 2009

external vs internal motivation

as i've mentioned more often, i like feeling productive. because of that, my internal motivation to do things is pretty high. the problem is that i get distracted - a lot (living in community helps provide lots of productive distractions, too). i'm almost always doing something - it's just not necessarily the best thing to do. (like blogging on a friday afternoon - but then i question what really is best: is my taking a break to blog and sort through my thoughts before working further on Ezekiel just an excuse not to work or is it a good way to re-group so that i can work better? i don't know.)

and much of the time, i'm not unhappy with how i get things done or not done. it usually works out okay - my house is cleaner when other things need doing - and my academic stuff gets more attention when i'm tired of people, and so on. but there is one area that i'm not so thrilled about - the dissertation/phd thing. it's starting to get to be time to be further on my dissertation. my desire to be moving closer to done is a relatively decent internal motivation. but with all the potential distractions i can find, some external motivation doesn't hurt.

so i figured i'd sign up to present my proposal next friday at the phd. seminar. there's nothing quite like a good solid deadline, a need for a paper presetnation, and a lot of questioning ph.d. students to provide external motivation to put something solid together. and hopefully this can tweak the work i've been doing on the first two chapters, which is pretty rough still.

and after the seminar, you can ask me how it's going with the dissertation. i might look annoyed with you (especially if i've been disappointed with how much i've done on it) but it will provide me further motivation. and if i look too annoyed, you can always remind me that i did ask for it.

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