This week, I've been struggling to write a short conclusion for my dissertation. I'm intimidated that it's the last thing and that it will be set in stone by Monday.
To facilitate the teeth pulling, I talked it through with friends, turned off my computer, and made myself free write.
Then, on another day when I already had the gist of it down, I turned off my internet at the router, left my phone behind, and worked in another room. I could still check the internet If I wanted, but I had get up and walk to the router or phone to do it. No fooling myself that I was still working. (This strategy worked so well to quiet my mind—much more than just turning off my laptop's wifi—that I'm thinking of doing it every day.)
At one point I started to message a friend to talk through my thinking, but I realized that, duh, the internet was off. So I literally wrote my note to him in my word document: “Hey sounds like a fun evening! So I’m thinking about…but it isn't quite what I mean so....”
Gretchen Rubin has a theory that people are generally finishers or openers. In some aspects of daily life, I'm probably a finisher, but ending my dissertation has made me feel anxious, and I can't quite get to the last sentence yet. Just the thought of writing the very last sentence—and not being able to change it after Monday—yikes!
I'm not usually a person who writes to a deadline unless it's self-imposed, but I think the deadline to submit my final pdf is something I need to help me let go, move on, open life's next chapter.