Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rainbows and resolutions

Dan and I are both sick--sore throats, stuffy sinuses, pressure in our ears, and postnasal drip. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I stayed home from class this morning, and later we followed the rainbow to Longs Drugs to stock up on throat lozenges and tissues with lotion.

Can you see the rainbow?

We also had a long discussion about productivity, procrastination, and focus (or lack there of). So, in the spirit of my newer, better, more productive mentality, I might not be blogging much for a while. Or, when I do blog, I might just include a picture with a few words, like this entry.

Do you have any advice on effective time use? I think I need it.


Non-Knitter Knitting Fan said...

Less blogging....NOOOOO!!!! Your fans need you! I have some great advice for time use when it comes to housecleaning. Set your oven timer for 15 minutes and tidy up/do dishes/sort mail/vacuum, etc. for only those 15 minutes. Do 2 sessions per day if possible.
Whatever doesn't get done in that timed session...don't worry about!
De-cluttering your surroundings is also supposed to be good for combatting procrastination. A clear desk is supposed to inspire you to do homework.

Batty said...

Here's what works for me: do what any person with a full time job would do, leave the house at 9 and don't come back till 5. Work at the library or some other place where you're less likely to get distracted. Be pretty much unavailable on the phone between 9 and 5, except for your lunch hour. It's a hard thing to do, but it works because it cuts distractions to a minimum.

Jenny said...

Lists help me a lot. And sometimes I make schedules too. And eating a good breakfast. And rewarding myself for good work. Sometimes the stress is helpful, but sometimes (with you and me I know) it just makes it harder to get things done, yet impossible to relax. So make a list, do some of the stuff on it, take a quality break, then do some more stuff. Don't freak yourself out.

I love you. Hope you and Dan get well soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, poor you. Hope you & Dan are feeling better soon.

I'm afraid I don't have any pearls of wisdom to share about effective time use - if you find the magic recipe please let me know! However, here are a few things I try to do and they *sometimes* work:

1) Try and keep work within set boundaries - for example working 9-5 as Batty suggests, or allocating a work area. If I don't have these kind of boundaries I find that uni work starts to slip into every part of my life and makes me feel guilty if I'm not studying all the time. However, if I decide to only study between 9-5 on weekdays at my desk at uni then I still get my time outside of work which makes me much more effective.

2) Set yourself achievable goals. I'm always telling myself I'm going to do silly amounts of work, such as read 10 journal articles and write a chapter, all in a day. Never going to happen! When I set myself a goal such as read an article a day, which I know I can achieve, I find I get more done overall rather than panicking at having too much work and getting nothing done.

3) Start recording your time. I did this when I started back after Xmas. I haven't kept it up but when I did it I find it really helped. Basically write down the time you start work and then how long it takes you to do things. eg. 9.30am - start work. 9.30-10 - check and respond to e-mails. 10-11.30 - read article & write notes. 11.30-12.30 start on chapter. 12.30-1.30 - lunch. etc etc. And be honest with yourself - everyone has their off day and gets distracted. At least if you do this you're more aware of how you're spending your time and you can also be more realistic about how long certain things take you.

4) Don't cut out the things that give you joy! When people get busy they tend to cut out the things that give them the most happiness - whether this be meeting up with friends, eating good food or blogging  If you take all the joyfull things out of your life then what's the point??! Instead allocate certain time to them or reward yourself with them.

5) Blogging - I too am continuously distracted by murky world of knitting blogs! But I also hate it when I don't get time to blog. So I try to restrict my blogging and blog surfing to certain times - eg. lunchtime, evenings etc. It doesn't always work (like now!) but I find it helps.

Sorry for the essay! Maybe some of my rambling will help..? Right, now I need to get back to work! Good luck, and make some time for blogging every now and again.

SB :)

Anonymous said...

Wow - I did write a lot. And I should be writing my methods chapter. Tsk!