the grid

the grid

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Some general introduction-y stuff

The purpose of the group is to provide support for people associated with the university world (academics of all shades, grad students, etc.) who find it difficult to prioritise things which are Important but not Urgent (things in the top left corner of the grid above).


In terms of our work, these things are most often research-related - the writing and grant applications that we need to do for our own self-esteem as scholars and for the sake of our personal career development, but which are easily overtaken by the more pressing needs of our students, colleagues, administrative system, lab-slavery or rent-paying-day-job.  However, we are human beings, and scholarly work is done by people with lives and physical needs, not just brains on sticks.  Therefore in this group we can include other top-left things - taking care of ourselves through exercise, cooking healthy food more often, having a day without electronics, getting around to making that optician appointment or finally fitting in a proper haircut at the salon rather than a quick tidy up with the nail scissors in front of the bathroom mirror.  They can also be things that will go into the top right quadrant and become major stressors if not tackled promptly, like working on an administrative report before it's due or reading a chapter per night of the new text you added to the spring syllabus.

Some basic 'guidelines':
  • This group is open to academic and academic-related people at all stages of the career path - if you work in a University, Higher Education Institution or University linked research institute and have some research/writing/scholarship aspect of your work that seems to fall into the top left quadrant however hard you try, the group is for you.  
  • The group will run in blocks of about three months or one semester - individuals will set goals for the block then work towards them weekly, and different people may take responsibility for hosting a block
  • The host will put up a post every weekend during the block, and participants report in, analyse and discuss in the comments below that post.  These posts will usually list the goals stated for the previous week, and may also suggest a discussion topic.
  • Other posts (e.g. encouraging quotes, memes, whatever) are up to the host!
  • the first comment from each participant each week will typically follow a reporting format along the lines of 'goals for last week, achieved, analysis and goals for next week'. 
  • People will no doubt miss weeks and blocks of weeks.  That is fine - just mention in your reporting in comment when you will next be back.
  • goals can be about whatever is in the top left corner of your personal matrix and
  • analysis and discussion can be about whatever you like as long as it doesn't impugne the professionalism or suitability for the profession of other commentators, and in general acknowledges that everyone involved is a real human being - the level of manners has generally been excellent so far, so I hope that will never be an issue!
If you want to be a host (have authorial rights on this blog) please email me or leave your email address in a comment.

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