Procrasti-work…the bane of the dissertator’s existence

Written by: Logan Williams

Primary Source:


I first heard the term,’procrastiwork’ from a 2nd year student during my first year in the graduate program in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer. ‘What’s that?” I asked Gareth, ever so innocently. Since then, I have become intimately familiar with the word. Especially now that I have some deadlines for my dissertation writing coming up.  Let me try and catalog all of the ways that I have WORKED HARD on NOT writing my dissertation in the last ten days:
  1. starting to crochet a blanket for a Christmas gift (which required a trip to a fabric store; did I mention that I have not done crochet since 2009? so I will have to read up on that a little)
  2. reading the first chapter and reference list of books written by science and technology studies scholars that I want my dissertation to enage with (yeah — this required finding them on the MIT Press website, then in the NCSU library or RPI library e books collection…)
  3. reading the first chapter and reference list of books written by sociologists that I want my dissertation to engage with (see the work required for #2 above)
  4. presenting my dissertation results (I had to prepare the presentation first; and solicit feedback from mentors on the presentation)
  5. lurking on the site for the results of my numerous academic job applications
  6. keeping Gmail open and checking it every five minutes
  7. making lists of all the work that I have to do (every day a new list)

These are the ways that I have worked hard on not writing my dissertation just in the last two days:

  1. cutting the dead grass (not all of it, just the tall little patch that I had missed the last 2 times…before it died)
  2. unpacking my DVDs from their storage boxes and organizing my collection alphabetically
  3. emptying crumbs and old receipts and pennies from my purse into more appropriate places
  4. going through my summer clothes and moving items I can live without in a donation box (that I will eventually have to drive to the donation center, thus taking more time away from my writing)
  5. fixing an old tablet laptop that was frozen in a software update installation; installing the new software and pondering the wisdom of updating the operating system to Windows RT/Windows 8

So.. that’s great! I have a newly functional laptop now. That means tomorrow I can return this borrowed laptop (from which I am writing this blog entry… instead of working on my dissertation).  Hmmm, that will require a trip to the post office, and a few hours copying files from the borrowed laptop to the newly functional one. Heh. That’s a great procrastiwork project for tomorrow….

The following two tabs change content below.
Logan Williams
Logan primarily uses this blog to: reflect on policy and professionalization issues in STS (e.g. research funding, discipline formation, skill building, job-hunting, policy applications of STS theory) and to disseminate her own scholarship.