PhD

Intro to Health Informatics Blog (Full Journal)

Top Lessons

  • What’s been helpful I’ve noticed is having personal events scheduled to be an added motivator to get work done early, rather than just to meet the assignment deadlines.
  • Will power not enough and can cause more avoidant behavior – perfection adds to stress, and progress decreases it, but mental exhaustion wall can be immovable.
  • Waiting to meditate until the I’m in avoidance/procrastination lowers chance of success that I’d do the meditation. Meditation should be done before avoidant behavior comes up, to prepare me to better handle and get out of the procrastination void.
  • The pressure of using an app everyday was not helpful for me and my struggle. What helped was the first meditation I tried, that was free, was effective for me and was surprisingly helpful after just the one time. I selected that meditation for two simple reasons:
    1. It was free – so I could try it out immediately
    2. It was short – so I could do it during my procrastination flare up, which was during a deadline crunch so I didn’t feel like I could take a “meditation side-track” for very long.

Journal

8/27/22 – After reviewing how the course works and making sure I was aware of the schedule I should be working on to make sure my assignments and classwork are done by their respective deadlines (thanks to time with Alexander visualizing it on a whiteboard), I knew that ideally I should have Tuesday homework completed by FRIDAY, and Thursday homework completed by MONDAY. 


I knew leaving my meeting with Alexander on Thursday after class that I need to get in the habit of beginning work on my homework immediately after class, however I tend to use my energy as I have it to take care of what is needed in my personal life. So after class I went grocery shopping, and spent the rest of Thursday and Friday preparing for Derek to arrive and move-in to my house. I stated out loud to him, to give myself accountability, that I wanted to have all my homework for my Tuesday Health Informatics class done on Saturday (today 8/27/22). 

When I woke up I took care of the dogs first, then cooked us breakfast, then our neighbors were outside so Derek and I went to meet them for the first time, which lead to a conversation of about 30 minutes. Then I came back into the house and started preparing myself to begin working on schoolwork, but kept feeling the deep need to not do it because I was already feeling sleepy and wanted to either relax or help Derek begin unloading the U-Haul, since it’s due to be returned by 2pm today and it was approaching 11. 

Thanks to verbally announcing I needed to complete my homework by Saturday to keep me from feeling stressed as the deadline approached closer, Derek helped push me to begin my homework, and that he could take care of unpacking himself. 

I sat down to my computer in my office, closed the door and began looking through the Canvas site to make sure I knew what I needed to do. I saw that for Tuesday’s work I needed to read a paper written by Dr. Connelly and Dr. Siek, about Chronic Illness, and I knew that I needed to annotate it like the last reading assignment required. But because I didn’t complete the last annotated reading assignment (which was also the first), I wasn’t sure how to best go about annotating. So I did a quick google search on best tools to use, and saw that Adobe Acrobat has the annotation tools built in, which I knew but forgot about.

Since the paper was in downloadable PDF format, I opened it in Adobe Acrobat reader, but wasn’t sure the best way to annotate. In the last class Dr. Siek mentioned she thinks highlighting in different colors is helpful, so I began selecting a few different colors and deciding I would use them for specific needs: LIGHT GREEN = helpful to point out, PINK = Question / Comment, BLUE = very important to note / main needs of the app / important feedback about the app.

I already came across a difficulty with annotating this way – because when you highlight anything in reader it creates a “Comment”, but I only wanted to have comments for PINK highlights. The light green and blue are just for me to callout for my own reference. So when I print out the annotated PDF with the comments, I’m not sure if it’s going to be full of empty comments for two thirds of my highlights. But we’ll see.

I didn’t want to get too bogged down in coming up with the best way to visually annotate, because I figured it will eventually make itself known as I keep doing work like this. What’s most important is I can show I’m highlighting for different reasons, and that the comments I am making will be printable, and if I need to bring any pages into another program like Sketch or Photoshop to clean up the printed comments I can do that at the end.

At this point I have completed reading 3 pages, and it’s taken me about an hour and a half. I’m now taking a mental break because I’m feeling tired and having a hard time pushing myself to continue reading at the moment. —— Perhaps that’s helpful to know I can only work at an hour – 1 1/2 hour segments.

After my first break I helped my boyfriend unpack his U-Haul, and we returned the U-Haul – in total my break was one hour. I then went back to doing my annotated reading, but because I am still physically and mentally tired I told myself to reach a goal of finishing two more pages. I ended up finishing 2 1/2 pages in 20 minutes and am now taking another break. After getting up and getting a drink from the kitchen I felt I wanted to keep the momentum going, so I sat back down for another 10 minutes and completed another 1 1/2 pages.

After taking another 20 minute nap break, I continued the paper, this time with a sense of wanting to push through and get the rest of the paper done because I began feeling stress and a sense of urgency sinking in realizing it was almost 4pm on a Saturday – and I wanted to have all homework done today, and wanted to have time to get cleaned up and have a date night with my boyfriend this evening. Stress is beginning, and I’m feeling fear that I won’t get everything done today I wanted to, that I’ll have to admit to Derek who’s my accountability buddy that I didn’t achieve my goal, and that I’ll be left with the increasing pressure of knowing I have this homework deadline getting closer and closer. Because of this stress, I was pushed to complete the entire reading. I finished the last half of the paper in one sitting.

DID THE USERS GIVE FEEDBACK ON WHAT WOULD HAVE MADE THEM USE THE APP MORE?

I submitted my paper, then saw I needed to watch the Chronic Illness video which is 51 minutes. Since I have now been working for approx. 40 minutes to finish the paper, annotation and submission through Canvas I’m feeling like taking another break to get cleaned up for date night and hopefully watch the video completely or in segments afterwards. I decided to take a bath so I could watch the video while getting cleaned up for date night.

I finished watching the video as I got ready, did my makeup and everything, and was taking notes on my computer along the way that really helped me. Then I felt confident to create the video because not only was my hair and makeup all done 🙂 but I had already created my questions and comments just by jotting them down along the way. It took about 20 minutes for me to record what my response would be after a few trial and error times, then the site didn’t upload my video so I had to retake it. But finished it all in one go and feeling less stressed and more energized to complete the rest of the homework (student video responses) 

For my animal informatics course I saw that the deadline for the work I had to do was Sunday at noon, but I realized I hadn’t done any of the work yet, and it looked like it was going to be several hours worth. But I felt burned out after spending the day completing my Health Informatics work, and after my boyfriend and I got back from date night to see Pride events in Bloomington I was tired and sleepy and we got ready for bed and fell asleep on the couch watching a movie. 

Before falling asleep I set an alarm to wake me up at around 5am, so I could try to get up and cram all the work needed (which I assumed was around 5 hours) to finish it all in time for noon… but my sleep was disturbed so much the night before from the dogs stealing the blanket, waking up on the couch and moving to the bed, dogs playing and barking, boyfriend snoring, when I woke up I only had enough energy to make breakfast, then I was so tired I fell back asleep for about 3 hours. When i got up, I realized there’s no way I’ll be able to get it all done, and since that class lets you drop your two lowest homework grades I decided I’d have to use my first one now. I emailed my professor letting her know I was sorry but I won’t be turning anything in this week, but I’ll still do all the work so I’m at the same level as the rest of the class. She emailed me back saying if I could turn it in by tomorrow (Monday) that’d be okay. I knew I definitely wanted to try, and by noon on Sunday decided I was going to do it, but I found myself procrastinating by cleaning the house a bit, then decided that Derek and I should go stock up on groceries for the week first. We went to run a couple more errands, then decided to get lunch before grocery shopping, and I found myself taking my time doing those things, even going to Outback for lunch knowing it would take longer to go to a sit-down restaurant than just get something quick to eat from the grocery store.

By the time our meal and errands were done I wasn’t home till 6pm on Saturday, but I began my homework the same way I did yesterday with Health Informatics. I started the homework with a bath, listening to the first assignment, which was a podcast, with my laptop and towel next to me to start taking notes as I was listening to the podcast – because the homework was to write a 1500-word paper on thoughts about all the materials. I figured that by taking notes as I go it’ll make writing the paper easier at the end, like taking notes made it easier for me to know what I was going to say in my response videos for the HI class.

Still, after starting the podcast I found myself struggling to continue listening after 20 minutes, so I switched over to hear to take notes for this class since I know I’ll need to keep a journal.

I listened to the hour long podcast in its entirety, including pausing to take notes, so overall it took me about 1 1/2 hours to complete listening to all that. Now I have another two hours worth of material to go through, the next segment lasting 17 minutes. I was going to take a break after listening to the podcast but feel “on a roll” now so I’m going to try to finish at least the next video in its entirety

9/6/22 – I forgot to record what i was doing… but I’ve been able to complete all my homework for the last couple weeks, with the exception of not finishing all the videos and readings for my ACI class this past week. I got through 90% of it, but I procrastinated and ran out of mental energy and time. She told us in class last week that it was going to be a hefty week of content – and it was – she estimated about 5 hours of time to read and watch everything, but because I’m annotating everything I’m reading as I go and taking notes of the videos as I watch it actually took me closer to 8 hours, and then another 2 hours to write my paper and respond to other students. I worked for several hours straight the night before it was due, and then got up early and spent about 6 hours straight finishing what I could. I submitted my homework right before the deadline that morning. I regret not at least trying to chip away at the material sooner, because I kept telling myself I have 5 hours of content to absorb and should do it soon but I kept putting other things ahead of it.

Same with my Health Informatics homework. I wasn’t the very last student to upload my work, but I was close – and I submitted my video response and article annotation with questions for the guest lecturer about 30 minutes before the deadline – even though they started allowing us more time to submit work, from 48 hours before class to 24 hours before class, I still waited up until the last minute.

What’s frustrating is I’m putting in several hours of work on homework everyday, and still feeling like I’m running up against the clock, submitting things last minute, feeling super stressed and overwhelmed after I complete the assignments for one class right up until the deadline and then have more work to do immediately after for the other two classes.

I’m finding that Thursday night after class is when I feel the most relaxed, and Friday feels like a free day, but then I’m left with having to work on Saturday to complete ACI homework by Sunday’s deadline, and then cramming on Sunday to have Health Informatics homework done by Monday morning, and then cramming on Monday and Tuesday to have Informatics work submitted by Tuesday afternoon, and cramming Tuesday to have work submitted for Health Informatics on Wednesday. And I still feel like I’m barely staying afloat – and that’s just the weekly assignments, now I’m having to start putting in extra time for the bigger projects that we have to do. So it seems like I have to work 7 days a week, at least several hours each day, or things get stressful and overwhelming very quickly and I never feel ahead. 

Since my classes post future homework too, I could actually get AHEAD of schedule and feel less panicked all the time about deadlines, but I don’t know how to realistically get there yet. 

Perhaps it’s not that anxiety is blocking me from continuing working, it’s that anxiety and mental tiredness is making me do the things that comfort me the most, which is spending time with the dogs and my boyfriend, napping, watching TV, running errands and other life things. But if I could get used to being comforted by continuing to work until something’s done, or spending a certain time frame on something rather than only working as I can, maybe that will help me get in a rhythm and schedule I can rely on.

Today I spent a couple hours recording myself doing a video blog for my Health Informatics homework, where I reviewed the opening screens of the 4 apps I’m trying for anxiety.

Spent about a half hour going through the Intro to Informatics modules to make sure I knew what work was due by 5pm today. Looked at the article presentation selections for class tomorrow and picked a short 3-page article. But struggled to stay focused while reading it. Ended up using the difficulty of staying focused to create another video blog showing me trying to use one of the anxiety apps to help me, so that took another 15 minutes to do, but doing that got me antsy to get back to the Informatics article to finish this assignment. I finished the rest of the reading in one go, with annotations. Took a break to write this and now going back to write my 400 word response.

I was able to write my response in one go. It took about 45 minutes. I now have a little over an hour to complete the warm-up question and the reading discussion – but i know i won’t be able to do the reading discussion in time, so I’m going to just skip that and eat the Zero i’ll get from that, and try to use the next hour to write a meaningful warm-up response. 

I was able to power through and stay focused enough to complete the warm-up question response in about 40 minutes. Now I’m spent, and need to take a break before diving in to my next homework. It’s 4:20pm and I’ve submitted 2 out of 3 homework assignments that are due at 5pm.

I should record what time I’m making these notes – so I can track exactly how long things took.

4:58 – I submitted all three assignments with just a few minutes to go before the 5pm deadline! Phew! I read the third and final assignment parameters and realized I didn’t have to do all the required reading to do the assignment, so I quickly came up with an answer. 

Feeling confident after realizing I completed all three assignments, I then looked through the Canvas modules to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, and remembered that we are supposed to attend 3 colloquiums and write about them within a week of attending each one for the intro to informatics class. I had already attended Patrick Shih’s PuzzleWalk colloquium on Friday, so I also was able to whip up my paper about that quickly and submit that assignment. Which is awesome because I was able to make that colloquium count towards two classes. Two birds, one colloquium. 🙂

5:00pm – I reviewed what homework I need to do by tomorrow morning’s deadline for Intro to Health Informatics, and luckily it’s just a 45 minute video and an 8-page reading. I’m feeling motivated now and energized by my success tonight to keep this going and try to finish my homework this evening. SUCCESS = ENERGY  // PROCRASTINATION = DE-ENERGY

——

9/9/22

10:30am – I got up at 9ish and slowly crept my way to the office. I was dreading the schoolwork I had today because it was so much and my brain is still just so drained. So at about 9:45 I remembered to first start my day with the procrastination apps and recorded going through all of them a second day, then starting my first procrastination meditation on Insight Timer. I really love Insight Timer so far and feel like it’s going to be the main one I use, even if just because all the other ones are paid apps. I really liked the meditation I did, and I feel like by starting my app project it’s already putting me in a good in-between place, where I’m technically working on a large project – and therefore not procrastinating on that – but it’s also helping me do the type of schoolwork I don’t feel able to do – which is for today a 5-8 hour day of ACI content. It’s now about 10:40am and I printed out all the stuff I need to digest and note about so I can physically cross them off one by one (<— this ended up being really rewarding and helped add an element of progress on an otherwise very daunting reading/watching list – because I felt great achievement when I crossed off an entire page – there were 4 pages in total and each one took several hours to complete), and began watching the first video “The Urban Gorilla”. Today is also the first time for my ACI class that I’ll be submitting the content reviews the way the other students have done, hopefully to get my first 2 rating.

12:34pm – I just finished watching the first video and reading the first reading, with annotations. So I worked two hours straight, for content that Christina estimated would take 1hr 20min. Taking a shower and lunch break before diving back into the next reading.

2pm – started reading a document estimated to take 40-50 minutes.

3:08pm – finished the reading and my annotations. Taking a break to spend time with Derek.

5:40pm – back home after running errands. Starting up reading again estimated to take 15-25 minutes) – finished at 6:30pm – so took twice as long with annotation.

7:30pm – finished a podcast and a couple articles. Taking a break to feed the dogs and make a snack for me.

8pm – started reading again. Having a hard time staying focused – got distracted by online shopping and wanting to watch my dogs play next to me. Not because I’m not interested in the subject material – just losing my focus. Black & Milds are helping, but not the healthiest or best smelling thing to be doing in my house. So is playing soothing instrumental music – the least recognizable melodies the better so it becomes background. The soothing music for dogs spotify playlist is my favorite.

The reading estimate was 20-30 minutes, I finished, with annotations, in 40 minutes.

8:40pm – continued onto next video (6 minutes)

  • Note – it’s super helpful to see how long the estimated time is to read something or how long the videos are – especially if it’s a short time (30 minutes or less). It makes me feel less daunted by approaching it and starting it. When I see it’s more than 30, especially as it’s closer to or surpasses an hour, I feel trepidatious to start it right away and find myself feeling more tired and wanting to procrastinate.

9:40pm – feeling mentally tired, Derek is home, ready to make dinner and wind down for the night with him. Next item is a reading approx. 20-30 minutes long, which to me could mean closer to 45 minutes with annotation. I was feeling procrastination creeping in, so I decided to just start it and get as far as I can get. I got to page 4, and feel good about stopping here. Ill pickup tomorrow and the best thing is I’ll be starting with a partly completed file so it’ll feel less daunting to pickup where I left off. Maybe that’s another lesson here – don’t stop on a clean note if possible – start, even just a paragraph or page, on the next assignment so that picking it up again the next day won’t feel so daunting, like starting a whole new assignment like you’re pushing a rock up the hill. Picking up where you left off feels like you’re continuing that momentum and not using all your force to start it.

9/10/22 – 

8:15am – sleepy but determined to want to finish it all asap!

9:30am – I worked the entire time, finished a paper and a short video, but was distracted a lot by my boyfriend and dogs, so had to go into my office and close the door to focus. But came out of the room to watch the videos – for some reason watching videos in the living room, and reading in quiet, private quarters is better for me.

11:30am – I’ve been working non-stop, with the exception of frequent interruptions from my boyfriend. I’ve had to go to my study and might have to start locking the door! But still I’ve been able to keep my momentum going. I should only have less than an hour of content left.

11:37 – while watching a video for class I got distracted by a phone text about my prescriptions, which I wanted to take care of right away so I didn’t forget, and that sidetracked me to have to update my health insurance information. So this tells me something obvious: turn off or relocate phone so it won’t contribute to distractions.

12:42pm – I finished all the homework!! Now I just have to go through and minimize all my notes into the word limit to upload it to the Canvas. 

3:30pm – well… it took me almost 3 straight hours to widdle the notes down. Now I know I can’t have more than 2 or 3 points about each specific item if there are this many, because it will be way over the word limit. Now I know hefty ACI content like this week will take me two full & focused days to complete.

9/11/22

7:40pm – I am starting my homework for Health Informatics that’s due tomorrow morning at 9:30am. I wanted to start this earlier, or even get started right after I finished the ACI work – but my brain was tired, and Derek’s dad drove from Mississippi to come stay with us for a week, and got here this afternoon, so I spent the whole day getting the place ready for him and rearranging the guest room and all that. Then wanted to hang out so I didn’t bow out right away, and made dinner for all of us. Now I’m getting started and I’m feeling like I don’t want to do this at all – and yesterday and today I didn’t use the procrastination apps. I would use one right now but I left my phone in the kitchen and don’t want to leave the study again. I really think it’s super helpful though to use them when I’m dragging my feet – it gets me in the right mood. But what helped me today at least was earlier today I looked up how much work I have to do for HCI, and that set me at ease a bit. Even though it’ll be about 4 hours of work, not knowing and having 8 hour days for ACI was starting to freak me out. So I kind of started breaking my procrastination earlier today by going through everything. And since I was already in Canvas I hopped over to the ACI module to make sure I wasn’t missing anything – and ended up doing my student responses, which aren’t due till Tuesday – so basically I CRUSHED it this week with ACI. This is the earliest I’ve gotten my ACI work done – so I think the procrastination meditations are already working. 

Now onto HCI.

9:50pm – I finished reading the paper with annotations. Read all the way through – took a couple breaks to get tea and go to the bathroom but got right back to it. 

9/18/22 

5:12am – Derek’s dad was visiting for about 5 days, and I was very proud of myself that I took time away from visiting everyday to get all my homework done while he was here. And I did! I did it without any procrastination app help… but then come Wednesday I lost my homework steam, and after class on Thursday I wasn’t able to start doing any homework again until Saturday, when I opened up all the modules in Canvas to see how much work I need to do, and saw that the Health Informatics homework was very light this week as far as what’s needed ahead of time, and I was able to do the Miro board homework right then and there – which was AWESOME because I was the third student, after Forum and Colin which are the two fastest students…

I realized some things about this project:

  • When I am in the deep throws of procrastination it is because I feel mentally and physically drained, and in those moments just hoping rest will break through the wall.
  • Fear is the ultimate procrastination motivator – fear of failing, fear of grades dropping too low…
  • When I have procrastinated to the point where there’s not enough time for procrastination meditation I just try to keep telling myself what I previously learned in the apps.
  • Imagining myself engaging with the apps oddly helps because I don’t want to use them for some reason.
  • Procrastination and Energy Walls are arch nemesis – there is more to breaking through an energy wall than just thinking how procrastination is painful and working early is pleasure. There’s something physical and mental that feels like is happening, and it does feel like “my brain is shut down” and my mental fatigue is real.

5:30am – after writing ^ that up, I checked email, personal and school, checked grades. Now I’m going to make some coffee, turn on my study music and got started on my ACI homework that’s due by Noon today. It was estimated to take 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours to complete. With my reading and annotation process it usually takes twice as long, including the final paper writing, so I’m estimating I’ll take all 6 hours to complete – but I’m going to see if I can complete it faster by not reading everything since there is no quiz and I don’t need to submit my annotations – and I’ve been hearing from professors and other students that reading every word isn’t efficient – most people scan for keywords, read the intro, findings and conclusions and that’s it. I’ve been reading every word, so I’m going to try to skip around more.

6:21am – I finished the first lecture video with notes and am now trying to skim quickly through the first reading. I’m noticing that as I’m going through this I’m getting more focused, feeling competitive with myself and my time constraints, and having a hard time not getting inspired by what i’m reading to make lists of things I want to do or look into or sign up for when i’m done reading. I’m focused, but fighting my now energized brain that’s trying to distract me.

6:40a – I skimmed through the paper and finished what was estimated to take 30-40 minutes in 20 minutes, with annotations and notes! I’m worried I’m missing some details that are valuable to notice, but I felt like if I wanted to go back through more carefully to be better prepared for class or the guest lecturer that I will have time to do that after my assignment deadline, and for the deadline today at noon to just focus on what I need to do to get it done in time.

7:30a – finished all reading and annotations! Which means I completed all materials in two hours – LESS THAN ESTIMATION

10:00am – I finished submitting my paper, and the two student responses (and this time I took more time reading their actual responses). The longest most arduous part of these assignments isn’t going through the actual materials, it’s widdling down my responses into the word limit. I always have at least twice as many words as I’m supposed to, and it’s really difficult going through it all over and over and over again to keep removing words. It’s what took me the last two hours to do. But from beginning to completion (6:00am 10:00am) – I completed the entire assignment in 4 hours. This is a new record for me! Granted this was the lightest week as far as how much material to go through, but considering the time estimate was 2.5-3.5 hours, and I usually take twice as long as the higher estimate, this would have taken me 7 hours to do. So my fast reading and quicker response editing shaved off 3 hours!

9/20/22 – 9:30am – had a really rough weekend – was able to complete my homework by deadlines, but had two full days of no work, and a total emotional meltdown. Decided to start a couple of my 30 Day Programs to help get me in a healthier, less reactive swing of things – and also realizing self-acceptance of stress is helping. Haven’t been able to access my apps for testing because I’ve felt so blocked, but started my first 30 today of working out every morning, to get me in a more productive mindset earlier. Hoping this will help and that I can add in regular app use and procrastination/stress meditation at the end of the exercises to also decrease my stress knowing I’m moving forward on this project.

3:20pm – Been working in the library with Derek since 2pm on my Intro to Informatics homework. Submitted my Warm Up Question at 3:20pm (due at 5pm today). Now crunching to annotate and write up a summary of the article, along with questions for the presenter.

4:16pm – submitted all homework with 45 minutes to go.

9/24/22 – 

7:30pm – I’m having a really hard time with procrastination today. I’ve tried to get work done today legitimately – I could feel early in the day that I was going to need to go somewhere other than home to work, so I planned to take my new Remarkable annotation tablet to the coffee shop down the street, but when I got there my tablet wasn’t working and wouldn’t let me access my reading. So I lost about an hour trying to do that. Then I got back home and felt exhausted and sick, so I laid down a couple times to try to take a nap but the dogs kept waking me up.

Finally I started watching the first video for ACI, which was only 5 minutes, then spent another 10 minutes writing my notes.

It’s now 7:30 and I’m unable to start the next video which is only 15 minutes long. I turned on TV and washed all the dishes. I feel like I came to a new realization about my procrastination that’s really difficult to understand – SELF SABOTAGE. I know turning on the TV to play my favorite show episode would suck me in, I know I picked a long episode that’s 1.5 hours… and I actually have wanted to start the video for ACI work several times but have stopped myself from turning off the TV to do it. So I started cleaning the kitchen and living room and doing the dishes so I could feel like I’m getting some stuff done while still able to watch TV.

I’m also finding myself wanting to try a procrastination meditation video on the app, but unable to, and I think it’s because when I am in full blown procrastination / avoidance lock, I am locked to do anything that I feel I “need” to do, so waiting to use the procrastination until I’m fully locked means I’m locking myself out from even using the app.

So I’ve identified a major challenge with procrastination / avoidance apps – when you are in full avoidance, the things that you feel you should and need to do become part of that avoidance and makes the desire to avoid and procrastinate everything even more intense.

What’s difficult is I don’t fully understand why I am now able to journal this and work on my health informatics homework by doing this – but not able to turn off the TV and continue the work I need to do for ACI. Is it because I’m mentally or physically tired? Is it because I don’t want to and there’s a childish desire to not want to have to do anything and have a full day off? Is it because I’m trying to self-sabotage myself? Is it because I know I have until tomorrow at noon to complete the work and have been able to get up early Sunday and crunch all the work in under the deadline? 

The mantra I learned from my first procrastination meditation, that procrastination is pain, and getting things done early is pleasure, is still resonating in me and helps me more than not having the mantra. Perhaps I need more mantras, and should be making using the procrastination app a daily practice – I think it might be time for me to purchase access to the 10-day Procrastination Meditation, commit to doing it everyday for 10 days, which will take me right up until the deadline of my homework project – so I could  

include any of my progress in the end of my homework assignment, and it could help me to get the project done by helping decrease my procrastination as I’m working on it.

9:00pm – been slowly going through the ACI work – finished the second video, and updating my Health Informatics blog with this journaling. It helped talking about my procrastination outloud to Derek – being open and honest about my struggle makes me more accountable to keep moving forward because I want to make him proud.

9/27/22 –

Because the first meditation went so well I favorited that instructor, Sensei David, and was able to scan through some of his other work on InsightTimer. I saw that he had a 10-day Procrastination Course and wanted to try that next, but it wasn’t free, so in order to access it I’d have to signup to pay $9.99/month or a $59.99/year fee. I wish that InsightTimer offered a trial period, or that I could pay a lower price to gain access to just that one course. Because it was paid and more than I wanted to spend I didn’t go back to it, and instead just tried to keep powering through my procrastination moments with what I learned in the free meditation he offered. And even though progress has been slight, I have noticed an improvement, especially as I’ve been able to gain confidence in myself that I can do this – be a successful PhD student. Yesterday (9/26/22) I accomplished something I’ve never been able to since starting school at IU – I completed all my other coursework for the week in my other classes so I would have all of today, Tuesday, to focus on my blog since the assignment deadline is quickly approaching. It feels amazing to not have to crunch work into a same-day deadline like I usually do with my Intro to Informatics classwork, which is due by 5pm on Tuesdays.

I had a stress dream last night but something awesome happened in it – I worked on my blog post in my dream and was able to come up with the format and layout for it, something I have struggled with when I’m awake. The cool thing was I remembered exactly how I laid it out when I woke up, and felt rejuvenated about the project and excited to work on it today. Then I listened to the first 3 days of the 10-day Procrastination course and in one of the meditations Sensei David said a major reason for procrastination is not feeling like you can do something. That definitely is what blocked me from getting more regular progress on my blog, because I had no idea how to lay it out, and how I was going to create graph visualizations.

Because last week I struggled for several days with my avoidant behavior, I decided I was going to bite the bullet and pay to gain access to the 10-day Procrastination course, so today I bought it and decided to go to the tanning salon and listen to the meditation while I was tanning. I found this incredibly easy to do, and perfect for meditating, because I have to just lay there for 20-30 minutes in the tanning bed, with my eyes closed, unless I have headphones in I can’t hear anything else because of the fans running in the bed, and I’m not able to be distracted by anything else. One of the difficulties of meditating is when I don’t want to stop what I’m doing in the day to slow down, or when there are too many things distracting me, or when my mind starts drifting and I want to write down what’s coming to my mind so I don’t forget it, like suddenly remembering what I need to pickup from the grocery store or to call someone back.

Even though it was a 10-day program, the meditations are short (under 10 minutes each), and there’s no reason you can’t just listen to all of them in the same day. I like the freedom of being able to do that, because another thing I learned in the meditations is that when you feel the procrastination lift you should act on it immediately before something else gets in the way. If I wasn’t able to listen to the next day’s meditations I wouldn’t have been able to learn as much as I did today.

I still had a few minutes left on the meditation by the time the tanning bed timer went off, but my car connects to my phone, so I finished listening to it on the drive home, and found that, like listening inside of a tanning bed, listening in the car is really effective, because I’m already sitting there, and am unable to look at my phone or anything other than driving while I’m driving. So I found that putting myself in an environment where I literally CANNOT do anything else but absorb information is the most effective time for me to listen to these meditations. Especially because for procrastination there’s no breathing exercises or visualizations to do while you’re closing your eyes. It’s all about education and calming down stress, so I can do it while driving, whereas other meditation programs wouldn’t be possible while driving.

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