Welcoming the new semester

The new semester started this week, and I’m taking a new approach to research time. I’ve committed to a twice-weekly writing group (in hopes that I can always make at least one of the meetings), and I’ve blocked 2.5 days for research. I’ve also instituted a rule that I won’t work in the evenings after I go home. I’m taking to heart Get a Life PhD‘s philosophy that an overworked brain is not as productive. So, Tuesday afternoons and all day Thursdays and Fridays are for research.

The other thing that 2.5 research days does for me is it allows me a little wiggle room to be accommodating. I’m supposed (based on my contract where research is 40% of my job) to be spending 2 days per week on research, and my problem in the past has been that meetings and other peoples’ needs encroach on my scholarship time. This allows me to say yes to some of these things–half a days’ worth–each week that encroach on the time I’ve set aside. That, in turn, makes me feel empowered to say no to any meetings beyond that flex time.

I’ve also learned that I really need to be out of the house to be my most productive. Being in the office can be okay depending on the time and who’s around and wants to talk, so I may alternate work sites between the office, library, coffee shops, etc.

I have a lot to get done in the coming semester, and it’s going to happen, darnit! 🙂

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