I’ve been really struggling to get into a rhythm with work at the moment. Part of the problem is the sheer magnitude of the task ahead. I have no idea how to approach it. I keep getting overwhelmed and end up abandoning any effort at all.

Today I remembered some advice I got from a professor at our year end function. He said that a masters thesis is often the biggest academic endevour that a person has been on in that point in their career. There is a natural tendency toward wanting perfection and a desire to have some major impact with it.

However, he pointed out that you’re unlikely to be able to make any significant impact with your masters thesis. Instead, the purpose of the thesis is act as a training ground to shape your thinking and learn how to write at that level. So instead of trying to have an outward impact, focus on the inward development.

Paint by numbers

He added that a good way to approach it was the “paint by numbers” approach. Take the task and break into small chunks, acting as the framework for you to paint in. Each chunk is separate colour that needs to be filled in, which requires its own focus. You can’t try and colour two blocks in at the same time.

In doing this, you take a 25000 word task and break it into 5-10 chunks between 2500-5000 each. And in each of these areas, you’ll be able fill in the gaps until you have your final painting.

It’s not the most creative or innovative way of doing things. But it acts as a great way to train yourself while helping you achieve your goal.


Image was taken in Greepoint park today. I got a bit down and walked there to clear my mind. Ended up getting a little sunburnt but enjoyed it nonetheless

Thesis update: frustrating day but got my colour-by-numbers layout done which is nice

 

Blog 61/365. Read more about my #365of25 journey here

 

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