Some students seem to be determined enough to start a research paper but they never complete the project. Why don’t they finish the paper? To be honest, the students themselves don’t know what causes this problem. Many a times, students have asked the same question to me. I have been training students on research writing for past some years and have probably trained thousands of students on research writing and publishing, and according to my experience, there are three main reasons the students don’t complete their articles. I call them the monsters that stop you from success. These are the same monsters that stop us from all other achievements in our lives. If we master these monsters, we won’t just finish our manuscripts on time, but we will also achieve all other goals of our lives.
These reasons are fear, lack of belief, and procrastination. In this blog I will discuss these problems and their solutions.
Let’s discuss the causes one by one.
According to my observation, the most common reason of not completing a research article is the fear. The fear can be various kinds; fear of rejection, fear of unknown, fear of criticism etc etc. All of these fears can be found collectively in one student at the same time depending upon the student. Many students just think that this is the part of their personality and they will live with this fear for the rest of their life. They don’t know that this fear is actually not a reality. The moment you do the task that scares you, the fear disappears. Yes, I am telling you the secret of beating fear, in fact, it is an open secret, most of us already know it, but we all need revision time to time.
Now how do you handle fear? The moment you feel fear about writing and completing your research paper, “start working on it”.
Initially, it will be a difficult thing to do, but gradually, it will become easier and easier. You will become brave and habitual in doing it. Just like driving a car, initially everyone is scared, if not everyone then at least most of us are scared to drive on a fast highway when we sit in the car at the driver’s seat for the first time. However, gradually when we do something again, and again, and again, the fear disappears. Thats how we beat fear. Of course there are many other strategies, but I want to keep this blog short. I will discuss this in my live session or a future blog.
The second most common reason many students cannot complete their manuscript is because they simply don’t believe that they can do it. They doubt themselves, and firmly believe that they cannot do it. Remember, if you believe you can do something then you can do it, otherwise you will never be able to do it. Now the question is, how do you start to believe in something that you don’t believe in? Can you develop certain belief from scratch? The answer is “yes”, yes you can do it. You can start to believe in anything you want…trust me it is possible. I myself never initially believed in my life that one day I will be successful in my life. Today, here I am, I have achieved all of the major dreams of my life. Now the question is, how did I do it? I started to talk to myself in a positive manner. I used to chant out loud that “Yes…. I can do it”. “Yes…. I literally can do it”. “If anyone can achieve these goals, it is me.” These were my daily affirmations, I used to say these line every single day multiple times. In a few weeks, my mind started to tell me that probably yes I can do it. I started to notice the changes in my thoughts and behavior. Then I started to say these lines more often, then in a few months, I literally started to believe that yes I can achieve anything in my life.
This was one formula, but another formula that worked for me really well was making a list of daily tasks, and every time I completed certain task, I crossed that task in my journal. Doing this exercise made me believe that yes I can finish any task in my life. I still do these two exercises almost every day. Some day in another blog, I will discuss more strategies to strengthen your belief system. For today, just rely on these two strategies, trust me, these strategies work.
Most students who don’t complete their research articles, fail to complete their manuscripts because they procrastinate. Why do they procrastinate? Because they just don’t schedule. What does that mean? It means that people who do complete their tasks, they have a fixed schedule everyday about certain things. For example, if you want to write a book or a manuscript, then there should be a daily schedule to write something during certain hours. Like for me, I write something every day in the evening from 5-7:00 pm. If not that, then I write it after 10:00 pm. This is my daily routine, thats why I write these blogs for you guys and successfully finish them. I don’t finish each blog each day, in fact I just divide it into chunks of one paragraph a day.
Similarly, people who complete their tasks, they just make sure they write something every day. If they are tired, they just stop at one paragraph a day. If they are energetic, they write for longer hours and complete their task in one day. The point I am making here is, that if you have a schedule of writing something every day, then its up to you to complete that task as soon as possible, or take some more days by dividing the task in small chunks. Either way, you will successfully finish your task. That how we finish things. I believe am a great finisher, because I do something every day, and sometimes I finish the task in a day while sometimes I take more days by dividing the task into multiple days. This strategy helps me finish my tasks every single time. I don’t leave anything undone. By the way, I don’t prolong it for too long. I set up a deadline. This is another secret that kills the procrastination. Setting up a deadline is really powerful. If you do something every day at a fix time and set a deadline, you can beat your procrastination.
The common reasons students don’t finish their manuscripts are fear, lack of belief, and procrastination. These are big monsters to handle for many, but if you follow the strategies mentioned in this blog, you can easily beat these monsters.
Dr. Hassaan Tohid