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I am MSc student and now I am writing my thesis report. It is the last days of my project and only one chapter of my thesis remains to be written and also I have to prepare my presentation slides.

My problem is that in this period of time, I am losing my energy and productivity. I do not have any courage to finish my thesis. Very tired and even I can not open my thesis LaTeX file. I have headache, can not sleep at night and have very sad mood.

How should I improve and help myself to bring up my energy and finish these last days too (I have limited time left to deliver my project and I am missing time)?

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possible duplicate of how to maintain a constant productivity level? –  Val Aug 10 at 19:05
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@Val I don't agree. That question asks for a longterm period of productivity maintenance, I am looking for short-time and rapid for my problem. –  Enthusiastic Student Aug 10 at 19:56
    
You both say that your performance was good at the constructive stage but stop when only details are left to do. Which long-short term are you talking about? You had good performance to produce the gist of your thesis, now you need to put nuisances on the paper. You cannot maintain the constant performance. Pain in the back helped me productivity.stackexchange.com/questions/12100. You can try to simulate the same. Yet, this does not mean that your question is not duplicate. –  Val Aug 11 at 7:28
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One way of dealing with this is to talk to your professor and let your prof know where you stand. Even if you do not like what the prof might have to say at least you know where you stand and what your options are.This should relieve you from the stress of the unknown –  manuelhe Aug 15 at 23:32

2 Answers 2

You say you "do not have any courage to finish my thesis". It sounds like you are either worried if you'll finish your report in time or if it will be good enough to pass (or perhaps both?). Don't worry about this too much. Many students have this problem, especially at this stage of a final project. If your work hasn't been good enough your supervisor would have mentioned something about this by now. Just save your energy and focus on doing what needs to be done. Agree with yourself that you'll worry about this AFTER you've finished your report and presentation.

First of all, make sure you get enough rest. If you don't get enough sleep, your concentration will go down and as a result your motivation may go down as well. So (try to) sleep at least 7 hours every night, preferably 8 hours. Also don't do any work at least 1 hour before bedtime (preferably 2 hours) because your body and mind needs time to relax and wind down.

Second, when you start working turn off (or don't turn on) everything that isn't relevant for your work and may distract you. Turn off your cell phone, email, tv, radio. Close the door. Tell other people to don't bother your. Don't check this or any other website unless it's required for your work. Some people try to do several things simultaneously. Don't! It will cost more energy and slows you down.

Third, make a list of everything you still need to do to finish your report and presentation. In the morning start with the activity you dread most or is the most urgent. "Reward" yourself (if possible), by doing the activities you like better later that day.

Fourth, make sure you take breaks regulary, a 5-10 minute break after every 50 minutes of work, and a longer break of 30-45 minutes after every 4 hours of work. Working for hours on end without breaks is NOT effective. It will wear you down more quickly and will reduce the quality of your work. Use a timer or clock if necessary to keep track of time (you can also use the pomodoro technique here) and be strict about it.

Fifth, reward yourself for every substantial activity you finish, especially the most dreadful or urgent activities. Rewards can be drinking a cup of tea, finally allowing yourself to check your email (briefly), watch some tv. But only do this during scheduled breaks and not longer than that (danger of procrastination!). If it motivates you, think of a big reward you'll give yourself after everything is finished.

Finally, it's probably hard to do right now, but try to see the fun in doing these last bits of your study and try to enjoy doing them. You've almost got a Masters degree! Just hang in there for the last few days.

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Do you have a plan for what you'll do once you finish the MSc? Once you graduate? Could it be that you're afraid because you're not sure of what happens next, so you're trying to postpone thinking about it by not finishing? Just a thought but it sounds like this is a convenient problem you are using to avoid dealing with a bigger issue... If this might be the case let me know,

For now I suggest, if possible, to take a break for a weekend/few days and think of how you want the end result of your MSc to look like, how you want to feel when it is finished and how your life will look like after you've finished. Rest a little and go back to work, Good luck!

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