While the pandemic was not all bad for my research– I broke some bad habits and somehow made it so I’m not the go-to person for students with problems anymore– I’ve also gained a lot of bad habits.
With travel starting again and a whole summer ahead of me and my pipeline looking like maybe there will be a gap in it in the future if I don’t do something, I’m going to swear before the blog that I’m going to try some stuff.
- Write 1 hour every (week)day. I have papers that just need to get written. I have literature reviews that need to be done. Stuff doesn’t get out the door just as powerpoints.
- Email 1hr INCLUDING reading emailed lists of abstracts. So… during the pandemic, I just stopped reading the weekly/monthly/quarterly summaries of working papers and published work that I get. Instead I put them all in a folder called “TO READ”. Once my final grades are in, I am going to start tackling that. And the huge pile of paper versions I have in a pile on my desk. If it is 3pm and I don’t feel like working– that is what I am going to do.
- Class prep. I am supposed to be developing a new course that has something to do with my research but will also make. I ordered textbooks for one of the possibilities months ago and I got a syllabus and reading list from a friend who teaches the other possibility (at Stanford!) but I need to read the textbooks and decide and make a syllabus and set up whatever class it is that I decide on.
- Exercise even if it is just a daily walk. This is easy to do when I go into work and my walking buddy is also there, but I don’t know what her plans are this summer, and I need something for the days I stay home as well. Both of our kids are also going to be home, so maybe I should do something that gets them out of the house too. Perhaps it is time for DC1 to learn to unicycle.
- Wean myself off of sugar and refined carbs. I’m so much more energetic when I’m not eating things that don’t play well with my PCOS. I need to stop bringing them into the house. (Exception: DH/DC’s baking, food while traveling.)
So, that’s me trying to be productive this summer. This does not include all the travel I’m doing this summer. I don’t need to write or do email or class prep while I’m at a conference or on vacation. But because I have that vacation, I do need to be productive while I’m not on it! And I need to get things off my plate so I’m ready for new projects and possibilities.
Do you have any summer work goals?
May 2, 2022 at 2:48 am
I have been somewhat successful replacing my carb cravings with “healthy fat”. I’ve been eating these prepackaged hot smoked salmon portions. I love salmon, so it’s a big upgrade from a mid afternoon PBJ or Nutella sandwich and the shrink wrapped stuff lasts longer. Trader Joe’s and bjs has them. So, I’m throwing money at the problem.
We saw Neil Gaimen this weekend and he was great but also made me feel like…wow, this guy writes a lot. He must never watch tv. I have no problem not watching tv when I am on the road, so why is it always on when I am home. I was never a tv watcher.
May 2, 2022 at 11:09 am
I don’t know if he ever watches TV but he’s been making TV lately! (American Gods, Anansi Boys, Good Omens)
May 2, 2022 at 9:31 pm
We’re going to pay through the nose for several weeks of summer camp and be grateful that we could get it for JB at least. It’ll free us up a little more, for part of the summer to get our work done, before we attempt to take a little time off work.
Here’s hoping we manage everything well enough to take real time off.
Of course with tonight’s news, I’m already thinking about what we need to budget for more activism through the summer as well.
May 2, 2022 at 5:32 am
The reading, my goodness, the reading. I don’t think I’ve read anything thoroughly all year (first year of a lectureship). This summer, I have 4 co-authored things to finish off, 1 co-authored thing to start, and want to make a start on my book. I’d also like to read 20 articles on crisis for a new project. I’ll be back and forth between work city and home city less so that’ll help, but also have some time off + my son starts school in August so time will pass quickly.
I also need to figure out the redesign of the first year comparative class I teach. The students HATE it, but I’m hoping I won’t be teaching it forever, so trying to figure out how to tweak it without driving myself round the bend. It’ll be co-taught and I’m not sure who I’ll be teaching it with yet.
May 2, 2022 at 6:45 pm
Sounds a lot like my summer! Good luck to us all!
May 2, 2022 at 1:20 pm
This summer I either want to a) find a new job or b) do exactly zero work. (I am not paid summer salary and I am not tenure track so… I don’t get paid, I don’t work.)
May 2, 2022 at 6:44 pm
Both sound like good plans!
May 2, 2022 at 10:40 pm
Sigh. Board exam I’m still in denial about. I also have a foot-high stack of reading I’ve been procrastinating.
May 3, 2022 at 5:17 am
May 3, 2022 at 8:54 am
Email from indivisible:
Show up to your local court at 5pm today. All over the country, at the Supreme Court and federal district courts, we’re asking everyone to rally at 5pm today, May 3, local in town squares, in front of federal courthouses, and the Supreme Court to declare #BansOffOurBodies and abortion is health care. Can’t make it today? Over the next few days, we’ll be supporting and coordinating with partners like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, MoveOn, UltraViolet, and others to plan mass mobilizations and other actions. We’ll share those plans via email and text message. (If you’re not on our rapid response text team, text INDIVISIBLE to 59798, and we’ll get you set up.)
May 3, 2022 at 11:16 am
I want to take it easy this summer, but probably won’t. I have two surveys out or going out with my very fun and productive collaborators, so we’ll probably forge ahead with analysis and writing those up. I have another collaboration idea with different partners that could be interesting. I have what I think is a great idea for a book, but I seem to do better working with a partner or at least a really good grad student and I don’t have a ready-made one for this topic, so I need to think about that. And I MAY finally achieve my dream of writing a fiction novel this summer, as I found a writing partner (see above for how I work best). It could be a total bust, but I’m excited to try.
May 3, 2022 at 11:47 am
That sounds fun! I want fun and productive collaborators!
May 3, 2022 at 12:56 pm
It has really been a game-changer in how I feel about my job.
May 3, 2022 at 1:08 pm
I bet! It makes everything different.
May 3, 2022 at 1:34 pm
I will be working, not sure how much. But I did, just a few minutes ago, tell my low-paying client that I only wanted to do half the work they wanted this summer. What I didn’t say to them is that I want to keep time open for the people who pay better.
I realized when they told me their initial commitment request that I don’t actually want to work with them at all anymore. They pay about 1/2-2/3 of the rate my other clients pay. They justify it each time by assuring me that their projects will be less work than standard, and they never are. I used to feel like it was worth it to do smaller projects with them, to keep my hand in at their company and to maintain the relationships with the people on their team. The pay keeps feeling like massive disrespect, though, and it’s ebbing away at the relationship side. I think if I was less concerned about my overall client base and annual income– both of which shrank massively with the pandemic– I would probably just start telling them no. I’m heading in that direction, though. Maybe in a year or two.
May 3, 2022 at 1:36 pm
May 5, 2022 at 1:16 pm
I’m retired, but:
* I’m thinking of going to a city job fair for lifeguards and camp counselors (jobs I used to enjoy four decades ago) because they are desperate, but I don’t think they will talk me into it. A friend whose son was a lifeguard last summer said they keep switching around which pool you work at, so there’s lots of driving. If I could work just at the big pool in walking distance, that would be cool.
* Not work, but I’m planning another five-a-day (fruits and vegetables) challenge. I did one in winter–I eat different things in summer.