the grid

the grid

Wednesday 31 December 2014

Jan-Apr TLQ session. Sign up Jan 2-11.

Ring in the new year with some focus on that Top Left Quadrant (important but not urgent tasks). Our Jan-Apr session will be 15 weeks long.

Jan 2-11: sign-ups with your overall goal and your first weekly goal
Jan 16: first check in.
April 24: final check in.

Feel free to invite other folks and/or post a link on your blog. The more the merrier!

Watch for the Jan 2 sign-up post.

Monday 22 December 2014

Overall goals for this block

For those who set goals for this block, they are posted below. I failed to do so. JaneB, I couldn't find record of yours the first week, you noted that you would get to it the following week, but one thing leads to and overwhelms another... -humming

Allan Wilson: to write and submit a manuscript called pirate, while improving my overall level of health and fitness. But I also have lots of wildly overdue things to do. Hmmm. They might end up here on the margins as well.
Amstr: Overall Goals: 1) prep, plan, and start to execute Dissertation to Book transformation; 2) land a teaching gig for winter; 3) health (eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly); 4) make progress on non-academic writing (3 ready-to-edit children’s book drafts; 1 short story).
Contingent Cassandra: Semester Goals (more or less in order of importance/likely tackling): (1) attend to health/wellness: restart exercise program, cook/eat healthy meals, get regular sleep; (2) continue progress on getting financial matters in order; (3) get community garden plot fenced and prepared for winter; (4) work on apartment home-repair/improvement projects. If things go well, there might also be some work on reacquainting myself with my research and/or preparing for next semester, but let's leave it at the core 4 for the moment.
Daisy: get rid of all three thesis papers
Der Modell Wissenschaftler:
1) Finish my dissertation and submit it to my committee by XXX (I haven't even committed the deadline to memory yet!)
2) Stick to my health and exercise plan, and mentally not get sidelined by the overwhelming amount of junk that needs to be done before we can sell our house
3) Defend my dissertation and deposit it by end of semester
4) Write and submit application for teaching certificate
-Keep up Secondary Field momentum. How best to do this is something of a question. (Just do it. Any old way, some part of me begs.)
Earnest English:
-Schedule and be firm about making enough time to properly prep and grade for the intensive classes I have this quarter. (My family is very home-based, and I plan to be at home more this quarter, but this means doing work at home, which is sometimes very difficult for me to do. I just need to be firm about it -- not angry and panicked because I'm already too far behind.) Next step: figuring out times when I can regularly schedule work time.
-Stay engaged with my child's homeschooling (though my partner is definitely going to have to pick up on that). To make that concrete, I'd say that I should make sure to do at least two sessions with him a week or take two classes together per week (which are already on our scheduled actually, though as the weather turns, I imagine we'll want to stay home more). This should be okay, but since I've never balanced work and homeschooling before, I'm nervous about it.
-Maintain gardening, composting (order that composter!), and holidays/family traditions through the term.
-Take care of myself: get enough sleep; eat good vegan food as often as possible (and no going to work with no food!); take supplements; exercise at least twice a week; try to catch up with the doctors, especially the eye doctor -- also find new doctors since the move; consider meditation or use writing as meditation; let loose sometimes (go out for drinks with Mentor). Take that yoga class already?
-Keep up minimal research in my Primary field enough to not have to go insane right before a conference. This means getting some reading and some notes done. Next step: schedule?? I really only need an hour or so per week for this.
-If possible, write some notes about intensive classes I'm teaching.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: Semester goals: write the article, assemble the dossier, stay healthy, stay sane.
Good Enough Woman:
1) Read key texts on theory that will tie all of the thesis chapters together, put together an outline and bibliography for the introduction.
2) Revise and develop chapter two of the thesis.
3) cook from the farm box, walk regularly, and make sure weight goes down, not up.
4) Make five doctor's appointments for myself because I am way behind on all fronts (dentist, dermatologist, eye doctor, mammogram--you know the rest).
5) Have at least two one-on-one dates with each child and with my husband.
1. complete professional development activities, 1 by mid October deadline, and two others thereafter. These types of things always feed into each other quite well hence tackling several in one go.
2. rewrite manuscript that was drafted over the summer for a new journal - the one I was aiming for (with quite a specific focus) no longer seems to exist. Oh, and find new journal to submit to.
3. Get back to writing for 30 - 45 minutes first thing each day to plug through the other manuscripts in the list.
Matlida: Overall goals for this block:
1) An article which will be a part of my book.
2) A book proposal.
3) Exercises, healthy eating, learning languages.
4) 15 minute-writing every day
Susan: My general goals for TLQ are
1. Finish the book,
2. Get the balance back in my life, with decent sleep, healthy eating, and exercise. I'm pretty good at the first two, but exercise has been more of a challenge,

3. Get rid of paper in my house, and turn my former study, which now functions as "where I put things when I have no better idea" into a den or exercise room that works.

Sunday 21 December 2014

Happiest Holiday Wishes

With it being Solstice, halfway through Hanukkah, and Christmas and New Years around the corner, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a joyful end of 2014. Take a good long deep breath. How was your TLQ this time? What worked well? What might you do differently next time?

And speaking of next time, our esteemed and wise guide JaneB has asked for preferences on 3 month blocks (Jan-Mar, Apr-June, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec) or 4 month blocks (Jan-Apr, May-Aug, Sept-Dec)? Looking forward!

Last set of goals:

Allan Wilson: re-focus on health, sleep, exercise for a few weeks so I return in a much better state.
Amstr: 1) finish reading dissertation; 2) catch up on budget stuff; 3) exercise 4x.
Contingent Cassandra: 1) finish grading; 2) do some gardening; 3) at least contemplate how to fit exercise, cooking, mucking out (at least to the point where I might have a place to put a Christmas tree), financial stuff, enough rest to be restorative, and prep for next semester into the month or so I have off. 4) Also do something about Christmas presents (some done; some not).
Daisy: 1) Research travel  2) Program development writing 3) Newsletter for professional association 4) Work on Paper X
Good Enough Woman: 1. Gather articles and create bibliography related to Chapter 2 and the presentation paper I need to write based on chapter 2. 2. Take care of test and lab work for daughter. 3. Prep house for house- and pet-sitters. 4. Pack 5. Walk/run at least twice. 6. Grade final papers and exams. (I know these are more like TRQ, but even though the grades aren't due for a couple of weeks, I'd like to get them done before our trip, so in some ways, that makes the work TLQish.)
JaneB: 1) Christmas prep. 2) Do SOMETHING to one of my neglected research papers. 3) Write 1-2 300 word abstracts for next summer's big conference and submit. 4) Get a lot of sleep, drink a lot of fluids, be nice to voice!
Susan 1. Finish substantive work on chapter 2. Christmas preparations 3. Christmas cards.

Sunday 14 December 2014

Moving toward closure

There are about two and half weeks left in the year. Many of us are pushing to wrap up the final bits of the semester, others are finished, some are already engaged in moving toward holiday shopping, cooking, travel, or retreat.

As we move toward setting goals for the final weeks of this incarnation of TLQ, it’s an opportunity to take a moment to look at our successes, be grateful for what we’ve accomplished, and begin thinking about how we might do things differently in the future. What are your plans for finding closure...or ignoring closure as a concept all together?

Listed below are folks who set goals last week, but anyone who’s been on board is of course welcome to continue the conversation.

Amstr: 1) consistent bedtime, 2) exercise 4x (even 5 min. counts), 3) send off drafts to readers, 4) read 1 diss chapter, 5) get caught up on finances + declutter progress.
Contingent Cassandra: weave at least a bit of exercise, cooking, apartment-tidying (mucking out is more like it) and/or attention to financial stuff in between bouts of grading (and accomplish some substantial bouts of grading).
Daisy: 1) Finish all grading 2) Get rid of lingering accounting 3) Send away first paper
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: 1) Revise the paper. 2) Hydrate and exercise. 3) Inch into the holiday spirit.
humming42: 1) grading continues. 2) Tiny project 3) finish class research paper due on Thursday.
JaneB: 1) get all remaining classes completely prepared 2) do some damage control on research type stuff. 3) clear off my desk in the office
KJHaxton: finish the Christmas stuff; tackle filing and tidying both at work and at home so that I can be productive in the lull between Christmas and New Year.
Matilda: 1) Work on the book of Chapter 1 and Introduction.  2) Write for at least 15 minutes a day. 3) Exercise for 5 minutes a day. 4) Prepare for 2015.

Susan: 1) library: manuscript/rare book work, note checking, reading. 2) visit with lots of old friends. 3) some walking

Sunday 7 December 2014

This one goes to 11

I am finished with teaching for the semester and now have two weeks of exams and grading ahead. I am likely to take my usual approach: rather than pushing through the grading, I dole it out until the day all grades are due so I can start enjoying other diversions as well as getting caught up on service and dabbling in research & writing.

I have done a horrible job of checking in to TLQ lately. It took me all semester to realize that maintaining this “just in time” strategy means that I have been in a perpetual state of TRQ. Why I ever thought that would be a good way to manage multiple projects…

With my own bad history late, I’m resolving to check in, show up, do better. Goals from last week are posted below. If you didn’t check in (like me), please post a goal or two or five for the coming week. Hope to see you in the conversation here.

Allan Wilson: 1) complete all work on the WHK draft, including revised abstract. 2) revise abstract TET paper and other promised revisions. 3) measure required animals for a new TLQ paper. 4) clean up spreadsheet for the new TLQ paper. 5) do the logistic regression for FS. 6) exercise 3x
Amstr: 1) consistent bedtime; 2) exercise 4x; 3) send off 2 drafts to 2 readers for critique; 4) read 2 diss chapters; 5) get caught up on finances + declutter 3x20min.
Contingent Cassandra: No check in.
Daisy: Work on other paper A LOT!!
Der Modell Wissenschaftler: No check in.
Earnest English: No check in.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: 1) Revising the article. 2) Get through medical tests. 3) Get through husband’s surgery.
Good Enough Woman: No check in.
humming42: No check in.
Ivy: read through paper and send to postdoc advisor.
JaneB: No check in.
KJHaxton: No check in.
Matilda: 1) Work on the book and the book plan. 2) Write for at least 15 minutes a day. 3) Exercise for 5 minutes everyday. 4) Prepare for Christmas and 2015. 
Susan: 1) Finish tragedy! Start comedy. 2) Walk three days. 3) Prepare for research trip. 4) Trying to get a little bit prepared for the holiday season. 5) Weed and maybe harvest the lemons.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Week 10: coping edition

Happy Almost December! Last week’s posts show this is definitely a tough time of year for many of us--whether grappling with winter health bugs, end of semester crunch, or family awkwardness. I am trying to focus on how incredible it will be to put my feet up, read a novel, and enjoy some time off with the idea that the only way to get to that place is to get through this one. Any coping mechanisms to share?

Allan Wilson: 1) eat chocolate on no more than 3 days.  2) finish next draft of whk paper, and sort out coding for the next wee bit of analysis that needs to be inserted into it, that he can do. 3) on site interview re funding proposal.
Amstr: 1) write 2x; 2) walk 3x (to counteract the pumpkin pie); 3) prep for the next three weeks: a) plan for healthy eating and exercise, b) plan for effective work, c) get the house in order.
Contingent Cassandra: 1) make a bit more fence progress; (2)make soup (and side dishes for family Thanksgiving feast); (3) maybe a bit of house-straightening/recycling/etc., and definitely some laundry; (4) deal with professional-association stuff; (5) make progress on grading backlog; (6) relax a bit on Friday.
Daisy: No check in.
Der Modell Wissenschaftler: No check in.
Earnest English: get my grading done. Also, I probably should limit my daydreaming.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: No check in.
Good Enough Woman:  1) Maintain my equilibrium and patience with four extra people in my house for the holidays, several of whom are very ungracious guests. 2) Walk the dog at least twice (my standards are slipping). 3) Make sure all bills are paid. 4) Finish Christmas shopping for all recipients except for my kids. 5) Read at least 25 pages of primary source (I doubt this will happen, but I feel remiss not included *something* dissertation-related. 6) Each day, today thru Sunday, write down something for which I'm grateful.
humming42: 1) Serious TRQ grading. 2) Write abstract and submit tiny project. 3) Write/research 15 minutes a day.
Ivy: 1. last lot of fieldwork for the year and deal with all the samples in the fridge / drying oven 2. read through paper and send to postdoc advisor. 3. exercise - yoga and/or swimming
JaneB: Sleep - I had to cancel my last class and come home for a nap today, I just felt horrible - flu-y and feeble and sick - so that's ANOTHER thing I have to catch up on... and makes me think that perhaps I need to cancel that conference, just so I can have an extra couple of class days and to avoid the Germs.
KJHaxton: make a start on Christmas related stuff in the evenings/weekend or no one is getting gifts (or cards) this year :(
Matilda: 1) Finish the important article. 2) Work on the book and the book plan. 3) Write for 15 minutes or more a day. 4) Exercise for 5 minutes everyday.
Susan: Goals for the week ahead: try not to let this cold actually happen. (We can dream, right.) Finish tragedy 1, read 2 and 3. map out the relevant sections of the chapter. Since I'll be traveling, a lot of TLQ stuff is off the table, but I want to keep walking three or four days. Especially given the amount of eating we'll be doing. . .

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Week 9: late but present

Thanks for the placeholder, JaneB! I am back from conference travel with a bunch of delays that thankfully were not that burdensome to me. More soon, but for now to sleep!

Allan Wilson: 1) eat chocolate on no more than 3 days. 2) try and finish writing draft of whk paper, even without the new clumped analysis. 3) prep slides for someone else's talks this coming week.
Amstr: Goals for the week: 1) write 4 hours; 2) exercise 3x; optional: read one diss chapter.
Contingent Cassandra: Goals for this week: (1) make further progress on fence if weather and schedule allow; (2) make soup; (3) deal with professional-association stuff (TRQ-ish at this point); (4) begin dealing with financial stuff
Daisy: 1) SEND off paper 1 with nth round of revisions to supervisor. 2) FINISH discussion and methods for paper 2 and start on revised introduction and lit review. 3) Back-up goal, any work on either paper would be a win...
Der Modell Wissenschaftler: No check in.
Earnest English: 1. A couple 30-minute sessions in preparation for November deadline. 2. Start shredding my newspaper and paper for the composter. 3. Grading. 4. Start collecting Thanksgiving fixings, like the turkey. 5. Take care of self, including food and sleep. 6. Be good professor. 7. Purchase relaxation yoga video.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: 1) Finish first draft of article by Friday. 2) Write to my “known” referees to ask if they will write a letter if contacted. 3) Write or call my friends. Call my sister, who is recovering from thyroid cancer surgery. 4) Get more sleep, watch less television, and spend more time in conversation.
Good Enough Woman: No check in.
humming42: finish the paper, have good balance for conference, talk to an appropriate publisher’s rep.
Ivy: 1) survive and try to get some sleep! 2) finish experiment - colleagues have actually been surprisingly helpful here (for one of them helping me is a great form of procrastination!) 3) Two lots of 30 mins on Paper 2 and comments on former technician's paper
JaneB: 1) be kind to myself. Make time to NaNo or crochet, read something fun for half an hour, pet the cat - the world won't end if I do these things and turn up to class less than perfectly prepared. 2) brutal triage on what might get done before Christmas and when it might get done. 3) For this week, survival and TRQ have to take priority though.
KJHaxton: No check in.
Matilda: No check in.
Susan: As for next week, I have two days of interruption, between my bi-weekly trip to campus for a seminar, and there's a job candidate that day, and a day taking my mother and myself to doctor's appointments in nearby city. But I've mapped out where I'm going, and the two plays I have to read, so if I can read those plays, and write what I need to write about them, I'll be pleased. I want to walk four days, and go through the ginormous pile of solicitations from charities and organize my end of year donations.

Monday 24 November 2014

Week 9 placeholder

Just sticking this up for anyone who has a burning need to report in, like, NOW!  Will check with Humming42 (who hopefully has not fallen prey to one of the nasty winter bugs that are around already) and one of us will post this week's goal list later on.


Sunday 16 November 2014

Heading into Week 8

This seems to be about the halfway point check in for this particular incarnation of TLQ. It's a travel and conference week for me, along with end of semester crunch coming up soon...reflect and analysis below at will.

Goals from last week:
Allan Wilson: 1) exercise 5x - hopefully including two more challenging sessions at the gym or 5km. 2) complete at least one FS analysis. 3) do clumped rerun analysis on whk. 4) finish revisions on small paper. 5) prep for conference next week.
Amstr: 1) revise job letter and application, contact references; 2) re-read at least 2 chapters of diss; 3) exercise 3x; 4) write 2 hours/day, T-F
Contingent Cassandra: Goal for this week: continued progress on the garden, especially the fence and protecting plants for the winter (we're predicted to get an extended blast of unseasonably cold air later this week; in addition, garden plot inspections occur soon after 11/15, so I need to make visible progress on the fence, and get it to some sort of stopping point.)
Daisy: 1) SEND off paper 1 with nth round of revisions to supervisor. 2) FINISH discussion and methods for paper 2 and start on revised introduction and lit review.
Der Modell Wissenschaftler: No goals posted.
Earnest English: 1. Make Nov 15 deadline. 2. Gardening: plant the garlic bed, weather permitting? 3. Take care of self, especially food and sleep. 4. Be a good professor: get caught up and be prepared. 5. Try to get to yoga? 6. Meditate? 7. 30 min sessions?
Elizabeth Ann Mitchell: 1) Spend an hour a day filling holes and beefing up documentation. 2) 5 more hours on the dossier should get me close to done. 3) Add emotional self-care to the list.
Good Enough Woman: 1) Submit sabbatical proposal by Friday. 2) Read at least 50 pages of primary source. 3) Walk 3x with dog. 4) Order MIL's b-day present.
Ivy: No goals posted.
JaneB: do some work writing, enjoy NaNo, plan for a return to work next week (I had the last couple of days of this week planned as 'my time' anyway, so...)
KJHaxton: (1) Finish the current pile of TRQ early in the week to free up space later. (2) block out daily writing sessions to start working on a couple of papers (3) christmas crafts, eating, drinking etc - all of the 'self-care' and having fun items.
Matilda: 1) Finish the important article and work something to revise my book plan.  2) Write for at least 15 minutes every day. 3) Exercise for 5 minutes every day.
Susan: map out the chapter and what needs to be done; ILL any needed books; and start reading. Walk at least three days. Deal with one pile of paper.

Sunday 9 November 2014

Week 7

Hello all...I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. I wrapped up a semester-long faculty workgroup yesterday, and our group leader asked us in closing to think about and state something that we need going forward. What is one thing you need, and what might you be able to do in order to get it? [The question is deliberately vague & fuzzy.]

Goals from last week:
Allan Wilson: 1) Exercise 5x. 2) do FS analysis. 3) finish revising FS paper. 4) one day writing whk paper.
Amstr: 1) send job app to reviewer-friend; 2) more diss progress; 3) journal re: career 2x20min; 4) exercise 3x; 5) write 2 hours per day M-Th.
Contingent Cassandra: No check in.
Daisy: 1) Send off paper 1 with nth round of revisions to supervisor. 2) Redo discussion and methods for paper 2 as per discussions at cool conference.
Der Modell Wissenschaftler: 1) Submit chapter 2/paper 1 to coauthors. 2) Update committee with progress and if appropriate, request dates for defense. 3) Fast draft of paper 2.
Earnest English: No check in.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: 1) Edit and polish the article--note loopholes and where the documentation is thin.
2) Work on the verdamte dossier--5 hours in the next week. 3) Continue self-care.
Good Enough Woman: 1) Walk 3x. 2) Finish draft of sabbatical proposal and send it to letter writers. 3) Read 50 pages of primary source text. 4) Find a way to take care of self or feel balanced in the face of a lot of social obligations this weekend.
humming42: No goals again.
Ivy: Same goals as last week: 1) more endless data analyses. 2) three lots of 30 mins on the Discussion of Paper 2. 3) Three lots of exercise. 4) something fun!
JaneB: 1) complete all the administrivia paperwork. 2) Go to bed before midnight every night. 3) don't pretend, inwardly or outwardly, to be capable of more than you are. 4) writing about research can be limited to reading other people's stuff, reviewing papers etc. (I currently have 2 of the former and three of the latter in the queue) - completing any one of these COUNTS. 5) Enjoy NaNoWriMo.
KJHaxton: (1) Make serious headway in TRQ stuff, no scope for TLQ at work this week, just got to get stuff done. (2) Start work on christmas crafts at home in evenings. I have a few plans for gifts but need to get started on them. (3) Eat properly, drink properly...get out into the fresh air each day...bah!
Matlida: 1) Revise the research theme of my book plan and write up the draft of that part. 2) Write for 15 minutes every day. 3) Exercise for 5 minutes every day.
Susan: No check in.

Sunday 2 November 2014

Week 6: Time changes

We've turned back the clocks in both the UK and the US, I believe. Even if you don't face the mechanical manipulation of official time, the days are getting shorter or longer, depending on where in the world you are. I'm wondering if the time change has any particular effect on you, and what season better matches your own rhythms. Are longer days more inspiring? Is it less distracting to tuck in and get work done when it's cold and rainy or snowy outside? Also of interest would be tips for managing time change. While I'm happy to have that fake "extra hour" today, I don't know what tomorrow will feel like when it will be dark when my afternoon class ends.

Here's the latest list of goals.
Allan Wilson: 1) write every day 2) exercise every day 3) do analysis for FS.
Amstr: 1) finish article and send in by Thursday night; 2) make some (any!) progress on dissertation reading.
Contingent Cassandra: (1) continue progress on garden, especially replacing fence; (2) continue work on food and sleep. [yes, I'm putting off the financial stuff and the formal exercise for now, in hopes that getting the garden to a stopping point will free up time and energy for other things]
Daisy: Traveling, no check in.
Der Modell Wissenschaftler: No check in.
Earnest English: 1. Continue gardening momentum. 2. Take care of self with good food and good sleep. Take mental discipline seriously. 3. Plan workshop early in the week instead of going crazy at the last minute. 4. Work in as much homeschooling as I can while I'm home several days this week. 5. Start work on getting Great Class proposed to the Curriculum Committee. 6. Do as many 30-minute sessions on Beloved Field as I can.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: No check in.
Good Enough Woman: No check in.
humming42: 1) write for 15 minutes a day. 2) grade papers, tests, and assignments that have gone all TRQ for me. 3) decide whether to apply for the fellowship with urgent application deadline
Ivy: 1) more endless data analyses. These data are going to be tortured into revealing the meaning of life…  2) data collection! 3) three lots of 30 mins on the Discussion of Paper 2 - it's close, I could get it out the door by end Jan… (perhaps that should be my goal!)  4) Three lots of exercise - combination of swimming and yoga…  5) something fun!
JaneB: No check in.
KJHaxton: (1) prep for fun Hallow'een outreach and do the event on Friday afternoon (yay! slime! fancy dress!) (2) use what's left of the week to catch my breath and catch up on the general TRQ to-do list, (3) start planning my November thing - I think I'm going for NaBloPoMo, would love to do the NaNoWriMo but I don't think I'll hold it together - I need small chunks so a blog post a day will be good for me.
Matilda: 1) Plan a structure of the paper. 2) Revise the research theme of my book plan, and work on it. 3) Write at least 15 minutes every day. Exercise for 5 minutes every day. If I have some snacks, have healthier ones.
Susan: 1) finish this chapter, which should be possible -- I've got most of it written, and need to fix transitions, and write a couple of thousand words, but these are mostly things I have in an article I wrote last year. 2) finish my last report (a reader's report on a manuscript). 3) write a couple of letters.