Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer: Why is it such a problem? with UPDATES

Memorial Day is over. D has less then two weeks of school left. I have lots of time to work on research. So why do I have so much trouble motivating every summer? Why should it only be within the confines of the semester that I can budget my time and be productive? I've been done teaching for two weeks now and I have nothing to show for it (other than seriously de-cluttering my office at work). I've made lists, summer-long schedules, and I just can't seem to get my act together. I was supposed to be extra productive these first few weeks- while D is still in school- but it just hasn't happened. I could blame it on all kinds of things, but I would really just be making excuses. We're leaving town for a few days at the end of the next week, so it would be GREAT to have something accomplished by then. 

So, my goal for today is to make some effort and get SOMETHING accomplished. I am going to make a specific list of tasks, an hourly schedule, and JUST DO IT! I got up early to exercise, so that is already done. I've showered. I've had breakfast. D is at school. H is here, but he's working and likely going for a haircut later. I'll check back in this evening and share how it went. OK- it's time to stop being so LAME!

OK- I am still lame. I worked a little while on learning a new software package this morning. Part of the tutorial resulted in a 3-D image that requires your standard blue/red cardboard glasses. I had left the vendor-provided ones at school with the CD, so I went to D's room to look for her 3-D planets book. It was such a complete disaster in there that I couldn't find said glasses (bit I did see the book). I decided it was time to clear out a lot of her books that are too young for her. This took quite some time, but allowed be to remove one of the over-cluttered book cases from her room. Of course, removing a piece of furniture required vacuuming. I also had to take the old books to the basement, throw out a bunch of other things in her room, and leave the rest on her bed for her clean up when she gets home. By the time I was done, it was 1:00 and I hadn't eaten lunch yet. After lunch, I got caught up in more household chores, and made a quick trip to the grocery store around 3:00. D is about to arrive home, so I plan to go work on the tutorial some more while she cleans up, then make dinner. In theory, I could work this evening, so we'll see if I muster up the energy for that or not. So this is what happens to me in the summer- I did something useful, but it isn't research-related. Tomorrow is another day- although I have a meeting with my RA and need to back-up everything on my office computer so that I can have Vista obliterated and XP installed instead (I've had one too many software compatibility issues!)


Dr. Bad Ass said...

Hi Addy. Also recently tenured (yeah!) so I can relate. BUT. I think that we have to give ourselves a break between semesters/projects/stressful times. When I was in grad school, after I finished my comps (I was given as much time as I wanted; I took about three months to write them) I took a couple of weeks off. Had to. I told my chair that I was taking some "breathing room." I've found that giving myself breathing room at the end of semesters, between big projects, etc., makes me more productive later. Really, I don't produce anything when I'm stressed out. All the best with the remainder of your summer.

Addy N. said...

Congrats to you on tenure, Dr. Bad Ass! I know what you mean about giving yourself breaks, but I think I take it a little too far! I tend to use any little excuse to take a break: last summer I was really productive until we got news that our grant was funded- then I could never get back to it. I also feel justified in taking it easy now that I've gotten tenure, but I feel like I did that all year already! I know nothing terrible will happen if I slack off right now, but I do have things to get done. I also feel like I lost time with the failed pregnancy (April was a total loss) and now that I am healthy I should get in gear. Good luck with your summer, too!