Sing it, sister.

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Saw this today–

Dr. Crazy writes On Motivation or Lack Thereof (click through for full post):

This is one of the things that I actually struggle with the most in this profession – having things that I “want” to accomplish (or need to, or whatever) and yet with nobody telling me to do them, they never quite seem pressing. And so then I have to do this thing where I’m like “I don’t wanna!” but then I’m like, “but you have to!” and then I’m all, “except it’s more fun not to do them!” and them I say, “But you’ll hate yourself for not doing them!” Und so weiter.

This is the story of my summer. Of my right now, actually. I’ve got a major piece I need to be working on. But, since I’m employed on an hourly basis through August, that, along with a conference proposal due in two weeks, has taken priority. After putting in those hours I find it very hard to shift into the mental space I need to be in to take care of my own writing. Add to that that we just bought a freaking house and what I really want to do is putter around and work on it, and what I end up with is a lot of anxiety throughout the work week.

This is magnified by the totally unstructured nature of work time in the summer, and if I’m ever to feel any better, structure must be imposed. Given the wide berth my brain craves for transitioning between one task and another, I liked Tanya’s Option #2 for managing multiple projects (there’s a post up at Research as a Second Language–same topic, different angle–for anyone interested). So here’s how I think this is going to go: little hourly work, maximal house projects in the next week, taking advantage of my little brother’s visit; minimal to no hourly work, 100% my work the week after that. We’ll see.

What are your strategies for juggling projects? Managing unstructured time?

3 responses »

  1. I am struggling with unstructured time too. It can be so painful! I like the timed-write strategy – kinda like Tanya’s Option #1. I like to write in 45-60 min chunks with 15 min for doing whatever. And I have a cute little egg timer on my computer. This has worked well…when I actually do it! The trick is tricking myself into *actually* doing it. Still working on that one, unfortunately. Anyway, suerte, mujer!

  2. I suck at it.

    Summer is never a boon time for writing and getting my own work done. It seems like the perfect opportunity, but I waste it. Add to that that I work 40 hrs a week in the summer at two jobs. That’s on paper. I doubt I ever actually do that much work.

    What ends up being best for me is having some sort of deadline. I prioritize what needs to get done now. I’m also good with doing things in weekly increments, team work. I’m much less likely to let other people down than I am to flake on my own stuff.

  3. Gracias, rebelde.. Painful is right. And I know exaaactly what you mean about having to be able to trick yourself for the trick to work.

    Cindy, looks like we’re all in good company, for whatever that’s worth.. that ‘summers off’ thing (alternate formulation: ‘summers are for writing’) is a total sham.

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