February is the shortest month, which makes it the best month for one-month challenges!
(Note that we’re still doing activism regularly, but that’s not a one month and done thing. That’s a we can’t become a fascist state thing and it’s going to last potentially for years.)
Last year I was most worried about my sedentary life style. (Apparently that was also the focus in the previous year.) This year I decided not to make a challenge out of that, but I’ve moved my “trying to take a walk” thing to lunchtime instead of after work, and that’s been working out a lot better for me, especially since I no longer want to surf the internet on my lunch break like I once did. Plus I’m back to 6 hours of teaching each week which is surprisingly good exercise when you use the board a lot and get really excited about math…
What is really a problem with my life right now is that I have NOTHING UNDER REVIEW. My last under-review paper is forthcoming. That’s it. Nothing is under review. Nothing. Some of that is that I spent way too much time writing a couple of book chapters. Some of it is my work being accepted fairly quickly. But a lot of that is that the election and activism and getting back into teaching etc. have kind of pushed me off my regular work rhythms and I haven’t been doing the writing/data munging/reading/email/classprep daily routine that usually works best for me. This month is going to change that. I am going to have a conference-ready draft of one paper by all of the upcoming March deadlines and I’m going to have something under review before my annual report is due.
How am I going to do that? The old-fashioned way. I need to start my mornings with an hour of writing. If I can commit to that, the rest falls into place because I need to have something to write about. I also can’t putter around during the quiet 8am hour on days I have a 9:30am class and I certainly can’t spend the morning on the internet before putting my clothing on and getting to work. The five day a week habit will hopefully get back into place for March itself, but the challenge will also include weekends. The one day a week I will take off from early morning writing is the day of my 8am office hours, for which I will do the writing later in the day (I have late office hours another day).
I may not have a new draft done by the end of February, but I will be a lot closer to meeting those March deadlines than I am now.
So that’s my February challenge: 28 days of writing an hour each morning. Starting today.