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Friday, 12 June 2015

Week 4 Check-In: Adjusting as Necessary

Welcome back!  Now that we've been at this about a month, and have talked a bit about how we plan, and how we plan for/cope with the unexpected, I'm thinking that it might be time not for a major reassessment of goals, but for a bit of reflection and, if necessary, adjustment.

So, if you choose, you might start out your post by reflecting on what's going well, and what might need adjustment (either modifying or dropping a goal, or coming up with a new way to insure that an essential TLQ goal doesn't get lost, either in the day-to-day pressure of TRQ concerns, or because of a focus on other TLQ goals, or . . .?).

Then there's the usual check-in:

2. report your progress against last week's goals
3. analysis (optional): analyse what happened, what went well, what came up to derail things, note what you learnt/want to change, ask any questions of the rest of the group if you want some tips or suggestions
4. planning (optional): something about the coming week: what the priorities are, what issues are going to present challenges, what the framework for your goal-setting is
5. goals for the next week (or multi-week period until your next check-in)

Last week's goals:

allan wilson
1. Exercise four times
2. encourage myself toward goal one
3. Make a list of tasks for CR
4. Finish paper whk. this will mostly involve encouraging my collaborator to do the work required which is holding the paper up. and, tightening up the suppl. mat, and checking a spreadsheet. I hope to achieve all (very optimistically!).

Amstr (goals from week 2)
1) write 3 days
2) rough drafts of 2 job apps
3) gather info for letters of rec; email Kind Advisor
4) exercise 3x 

Contingent Cassandra
1) get into a more regular exercise habit, especially swimming and walking (preferably both, but at least one, each day)
2) make progress on financial paperwork; other household tasks w/ financial angle
3) get in touch w/ at least one other friend and one colleague re: getting together; send a family card; touch base w/ a family member. 

Daisy (goals for 3 weeks she'll be away; next check-in 2 weeks hence)
1) Work on writing projects at least 30 minutes every day
2) Keep up reading project
3) Make better field notes than last year because for the love of pete I wish I could go back and slap my former self silly for taking terrible notes!!!

1) Another of the critiques came in for the co-authored article, so I plan to work on those edits.
2) I’m only going to try for walking three times this week, as I still feel somewhat shaky.
3) Two recipes for healthy food, as I am still trying to fool the family into eating better.

1) Walk twice. Swim once.
2) Finish primary source
3) Read two more secondary articles or chapters
4) Write 750 words
5) Help kids celebrate the end of the school year.

1) One more go at finishing teaching-related tasks from spring.
2) Write call for proposals for edited collection project.
3) Write deadlines/schedule for upcoming article (which also needs a code name)
4) Start work on So Overdue Project

iwantzcatbocl (goals from week 2)
1. Make outline for June
2. Do fieldwork
3. Write some on Tuesday and Sunday (at least two hours).
4. finish some admin
5. try to be patient with grad students

1) complete all urgent administrivia stuff, and leave the rest 'parked downhill' for picking up in September
2) redo the analyses for the report that is not really my problem
3) Go through notes from workshop and from Friday meeting, and email as necessary
4) keep a mood and self-care diary, to collect data (try again...)
5) work through the rest of the comments on Crunchier and start on Crunchier's Little Brother
6) bed before midnight!

1. STILL! P1 Admin list and knock off 1 hour of items.
2. Read and note-take 2 articles for P2.
3. Physio exercises 4 x week
4. Sanity break one night per week - either music practice or crafting

1. Finish as much marking as possible on Thursday and Friday.
2. continue the list making and planning habits,
3. start to write a small amount each day.

Let's Do This (goals from Week 3)
1. Submit the article. sub-goals: reformatting into Chicago style, completing manuscript study at the archive, cleaning up prose, completing work-in of survey results, and sitting on it for a day or two
2. Re-read books 1 and 2. I plan to do this as a way to take breaks from finishing up the article. I might just have to give up on this one for the week, though.
3. Attend an award ceremony. I'm delighted to report that I won a teaching award! Yay!
4. Welcome my sister to town! She'll be here for two weeks. The plan is that this will not disrupt my writing goals. We shall see. Can't say I'll care too much if her visit does disrupt the goals. :)

1) to make a plan and to start working on Chapter 1.
2) to read the important articles for Chapter 1 revision.
3) to revise my documents for the committee.
4) to exercise for 5 minutes when I have time.
5) to have less sweets at night.  

a. finalize my share of admin docs that have come back from collegial imput
b. write for at least 2 poms on HA paper on 3 days this week
c. spend at least 3 poms reading for HA paper 5 days this week
d. spend time walking/riding bike outside 5 days this week
e. move bedtime to earlier time!

1. Add in a few stray references in intro based on ILL books
2. Go back to two messiest chapters to see where they are
3. Fix refs on ILL book due Thursday
4. Make dentist appointment
5. Email editor, contributors, re. collection of essays
6. Work through old essays that need to be entered into bibliography
7. Walk or garden 5 days. 


  1. Topic: Well, the goals still seem about right, and the order seems about right; my only concern is that the summer is moving along (and will only move faster/get busier) for the next 4-6 weeks or so, and I'm moving more slowly on the goals than I'd prefer. I'm not really sure what to do about that, however, so maybe I'll hope from inspiration from others.

    Goals for last week:
    1) get into a more regular exercise habit, especially swimming and walking (preferably both, but at least one, each day)
    2) make progress on financial paperwork; other household tasks w/ financial angle
    3) get in touch w/ at least one other friend and one colleague re: getting together; send a family card; touch base w/ a family member.

    1) one walk; two days of moving mulch; one day of deliberate rest; one day of not getting to any of the above (today).
    2)some progress, but not as much as I'd hoped/planned
    3)the friend got in touch with me; I sent the card; I still need to get in touch w/ colleague and touch base w/ family member.

    Analysis: mostly, the summer class got busier and I'm still dealing with some lingering effects of the cold. Also, the garden plot coordinator emailed me to say that my community garden plot (which I'm trying to de-prioritize a bit this summer, without losing it) needed attention, and there was mulch available (and moving it is the sort of gardening that definitely counts as real exercise). And I'm grateful that friends are reaching out to me, since I'm not doing as good a job as I might of making overtures (but I have at other times, so maybe it works out). All in all, I don't think I'm doing too badly, but I'm also worried about not making more progress.

    Goals for next week:
    1) Exercise each day (walk, swim, or move mulch, preferably 2 of 3).
    2) Substantial progress on financial paperwork *and* at least one household task with financial implications.
    3) Touch base w/ family member and one colleague; send another card.

    1. I'm glad you're starting to feel better. I hope you heal up completely soon! I really love when a project can be counted as exercise (like your garden work).

    2. The garden plot work seems like exactly the kind of unplanned things that life requires and that make TLQ progress so difficult. But I'm glad it was productive and good exercise anyway. I hope it wasn't too taxing as your recover from your cold.

    3. Well, it's a good thing it counts as exercise, because it looks like I'll be doing more of it. The garden plot coordinator is getting rather impatient for visible progress (for its own sake, but I suspect also because other gardeners can point to my plot, currently c. 1/3 under water after a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon, as an example of things that are wrong with the larger infrastructure of the park that cause problems not of their own making for gardeners. And there's a realistic concern about mosquitoes, of course. But for the moment, all I can do is keep dumping leaf mulch on top of things -- which is, fortunately, good exercise).

      So, the revised goals for the summer need to include the once-unstated one (because I was trying to keep it from taking too much time, again): do enough work on garden to satisfy garden plot coordinator (which is probably going to be a good deal, given my desire to get less-visible infrastructure in place before doing more-visible things beside/on top of the same spot, and her desire for the visible stuff to happen quickly). The tradeoff will need to be less walking (I really don't want to give up the swimming, which is a time-limited opportunity; just getting back into a routine of walking periodically could set the scene for increasing that habit in the fall). And I will need to make very sure not to neglect the financial/household organizing goals (despite the fact that the latter, especially, takes up similar brainspace, and to some extent back-of-the-car space, as the organizing/improving the infrastructure stages of gardening).

      So I guess I picked the right topic for the week, at least for me.

      And the cold does seem to be almost entirely gone. That's one upside to spending a lot of time in very humid air.

  2. Thanks, CC, for the reminder to look at summer goals. Mine still look good to me, though I forgot I had some of them. One of my tasks this week will be to break those goals into steps and assign those smaller steps to different sections of the summer.

    I did get the job I applied for! Yay! I get to teach an 8 week literature course online Oct-Dec that someone else designed (Odyssey, Aeneid, Notes from Underground, Tartuffe, plus shorter readings; 2 4-6 page essays, 3 exams) for a small southern SLAC. The pay isn't great, but it's a good start back into teaching and almost all returning students (I love teaching returning students), with a class cap of 20.

    Goals from week 2:
    1) write 3 days--nope.
    2) rough drafts of 2 job apps--ha, ha.
    3) gather info for letters of rec; email Kind Advisor--got email from KA, so some progress.
    4) exercise 3x--yes, and my trainer decided I should learn how to do pullups two days before vacation. Ouch! It took a week to be able to use my arms normally.

    Between the end of school and packing for a two week vacation, everything non-essential got shunted. I still have four more days in paradise (Aloha!), so I'll have a bit of a shorter week next week. In addition, I'll have my kids home and I'll need to give them some attention (though we're working on independence in all sorts of ways this summer).

    Goals for next week:
    1) exercise 3x
    2) start evening routine, daily (next day's activity plan, next day's food plan, next day's work plan, etc.)
    3) write 3x
    4) cover letter SFDs for two jobs
    5) prep list of first 5 agents to query, get query spreadsheet organized
    6) take care of pesky I-9 form for job

    1. Congrats on the job! That does, indeed, sound like a good re-entry into teaching (and a nicely-chosen set of readings, and solid assignment/test sequence, and decent class cap). Have you taught an online class before?

      And yay, too, for "working on independence" -- definitely an essential skill (but sometimes harder on parents, I suspect, than being more directive -- hence the "working on," I suppose).

      Enjoy what's left of your vacation!

    2. Thanks, CC! I haven't taught online before, but I've taken 6 online classes in the last 2 years. It will be interesting.

      My kids are already fairly independent, but we get to catch up on things we neglected earlier, like "clean up after yourself" and "clear your own dishes from the table" and "put your clothes in the hamper when you take them off." (I'm not really good at any of those things either, so we'll all be learning together.) I am also looking forward to having them plan meals and cook!

    3. Yay for the job, it's nice to know something of what the future holds eh? And once you train the kids, you can come and train me...

    4. Congratulations on getting the job! I have never tried on-line courses, but yours sounds good. I hope you will enjoy the new job!

    5. Hey, congrats on the job. And that would mean you don't have to send out those other job apps, right, at least not now!

    6. Congratulations, Amstr! I hope you'll enjoy getting back to teaching again.

    7. Congrats on the job, and I hope you are having a great time in paradise! As for kid independence, we have been really bad about that. It's something we've talked about working on this summer, too, but we haven't made a plan yet.

      And I'm impressed if you did some pull-ups. I don't think I could even do one.

  3. I am back. I haven’t checked in for a couple of weeks. The first week was because of the fieldwork I had planned and last week was because of the planned visit to the in-laws. So I am just sort of starting over here.

    I will conflate my progress over the last couple of weeks:

    1. Make outline for June STILL HAVEN”T DONE THIS
    2. Do fieldwork: DONE
    3. Write some on Tuesday and Sunday (at least two hours). NOPE, this was unrealistic.
    4. finish some admin. I THINK I DID THIS, BUT IS IT EVER FINISHED?
    5. try to be patient with grad students I GIVE MYSELF A B- ON THIS ONE…its hard sometimes…

    Several hours later…I am actually in the midst of making my outline for June. So I will give myself credit for this now.

    Plans for next week:

    1. Work on text for chapters 1, 1a and 2.
    2. go to campus and take care of administrative stuff over two days
    3. exercise 4 times
    4. make flight arrangements for flight at end of summer for big trip
    5. prepare progress toward tenure letters (half of them)
    6. check in with TLQ group!

    Reviewing my progress…I am down to the supercrunch time on the book. The next two weeks are sort of do or die for me. Lots of intense writing days coming up (especially according to my new plan I made today). The big problem with the way my summer plans are going is that there are just so many competing things going on (fieldwork, trip to in-laws) that it is hard to get any momentum going. But I am happy to say that things are settling down for the next few weeks. Hooray!

    1. Hooray, indeed! And welcome back! It sounds like you're making a good start on making the most of the more-settled weeks to come. Summer is really tricky: people are off, and want us to join them in recreation, at different times; we tend to think it's longer than it is; there's always admin, etc., etc. Best wishes for a productive week!

    2. I hope the writing goes well this week!

    3. Welcome back and hoping your stable weeks are insanely writing-productive. Sometimes I find that the ideas have all been seething away on the back boiler, ready to flood out when I get the chance to actually sit with them - hope that is how the next few weeks are for you!

    4. Best of luck for the super-crunch time coming up for the book!

    5. Thanks all of you for the kind support!

    6. Yes, welcome back, and I hope your heavy writing days are very productive!

  4. topic: my goals were kind of vague and they are all worthy and doable... if I stop being so easily upturned by little stuff and stop having do-nothing moochy days... IF! Maybe I need to make more of a week plan, if descheduling isn't working too well for me...

    last week's goals:
    1) complete all urgent administrivia stuff, and leave the rest 'parked downhill' for picking up in September no because people. People are a pain. But I did all that I could do, and should finish the rest Tuesday (or will put a big notice in the file saying "person X inexplicably failed to return this" which will make me feel better even if noone sees it). Also forgot that there is one more committee meeting coming up which needs a report on this stuff. Although on the bright side that's one less thing to do in September, I guess...
    2) redo the analyses for the report that is not really my problem done. Ignored by the person who needed them, who now has something more prestigious to worry about. Stuff 'em
    3) Go through notes from workshop and from Friday meeting, and email as necessary nope! Plenty of other emails though...
    4) keep a mood and self-care diary, to collect data (try again...) this only happens when I am in a good mood, so... not very often, really. Need to think up something different I guess...
    5) work through the rest of the comments on Crunchier and start on Crunchier's Little Brother both worked through. Now I have 15 figures to redraw and two reference lists to finalise ::pout::
    6) bed before midnight! some nights, and when I get it right - go to bed before 11, properly - it does brighten up the next morning (even if it only lasts until I open my email, get to the office, or stand in cat litter in the bathroom - Furball is a good burier of odorous material but likes to dig very very vigorously so there are often clean but gritty fragments around)

    analysis/planning: some good days, some really grey ones. I am so ready to be done with the semester and the academic year, but there's more to come. I hate our system. Next week I have to be at work Tuesday and Wednesday to 'be available' in case visiting persons need to talk to someone from one of my administative committees - the main people from said committee are at a Lemonade Stand event, because a key person "forgot" the date they were coming. Or maybe really forgot, but still, NOT IMPRESSED. On the plus side, the internet at work is really fast and there is a big monitor, so sitting in my office might be a good time to get through as much of the figure re-drawing and reference list finishing off (and reading the last two years of papers Just In Case, Crunchier has dragged on and on) as possible. Friday I also have to go in, but for my real life Writing Group's start of summer session, which means Thursday I get to do some baking (considering a summery Spanish almond cake, and maybe some Blondies with raspberries as a change from Brownies?). SO: goals

    goals for next week:
    1) get Crunchier and Crunchier's Little Brother to the point where they can be sent off to persnickety co-author (who will get actual pleasure out of formatting them for submission and moving the commas around in the reference list. Because he is wierd, but hey, it's a useful kind of wierd!)
    2) this time REALLY get administrative stuff done as far as possible, then just STOP.
    3) send emails, or at least a proper list of the emails that need sending, from the workshop and last Friday's meeting.
    4) calendar review, cattery bookings (which I still haven't done! Aargh!), and being Nice To Jane

    1. Sorry about the grey days, and wishing you many good ones this coming week. It's a good reminder to self to just do whatever you can do on admin tasks and then just stop, including thinking about it. But I know that's easier said than done--it's really not cool when other people don't carry their weight.

    2. I am also sorry that there have a been a lot of grey days. I hope some more good nights of sleep might help. Perhaps some schedule crafting is in order?

    3. Sounds like incremental progress on a number of things, including figuring out what events, routines, etc., etc. do and don't support productivity in the days following (of course, discovering energy-drains that one can't do much about isn't very encouraging, and they are no doubt legion, but there's something to be said for having the data at least).

      I want to come to your writing group (for the goodies, if not the support). That sounds like it might be a good entry-point for it beginning to feel like "real" summer (which sounds like it's starting way too late, but your schedule *is* later. Still, it sounds like at your place, as everywhere, the year 'round schedule of the administrators and their expectations is more and more becoming the tail that wags the dog, with the result that academics have less and less time to concentrate on what those administrators supposedly want: research productivity. Or, to mangle another metaphor, they're so busy taking the top off the pot, and poking at it with a spoon to see what's going on, and asking for progress reports, that the contents of the pot don't have any time to come to a boil, let alone simmer and turn into something greater than the sum of its parts.

  5. Topic: The main thing I've found that have forced me to adjust my goals, both on a weekly basis and longer term are realisations about how I work - that I seem to have a brain limit for writing-heavy projects that I am actively working on, and I've already had two urgent writing tasks jump in to displace TLQ stuff. So now to think about ways to hold a TLQ project in one of those spots.
    I've also noticed that including self-care stuff does make a difference in focus and emotional/mental resilience, and that this has been a big thing in recovering from a rather stressful semester. So this has taken on more importance than I initally planned.

    1. STILL! P1 Admin list and knock off 1 hour of items.
    Did the list. Admitted to self why I've been procrastinating - the first item on the list is contacting people I have no existing relationship with to ask for things, which is pretty much one of my most hated things. Needs doing though, unfortunately.
    2. Read and note-take 2 articles for P2.
    3. Physio exercises 4 x week
    Twice, I think.
    4. Sanity break one night per week - either music practice or crafting
    Yes, found a pattern for a cable-knit hat to fit yarn in the stash. Now just have to find knitting needles to get started.

    Planning/Next week:

    Upcoming this week - lots of marking to clear, and prep for next semester. No work hanging for weekend completion as we are off to visit a midwinter festival.

    1. P1 - do the horrible contacting people job, and get 1 hour of playing in digital archives as reward.
    2. P2 - finish up notes for 2 articles
    3. One form of physical activity on top of physio exercises- probably swimming or a yoga class, as this close to solstice morning/evening walk is distinctly unappealing.
    4. Restrict evening marking to 2 rounds of pomodoro.


    1. Congratulations on finishing the task!

    2. I was in the same boat last week, with both grading from last semester as well as syllabus design for the next one--but I really want to have some non-teaching weeks in between semesters to focus on TLQ writing. Do you anticipate being busy with next semester's teaching all through the summer?

    3. I like your scheduled sanity breaks for music or crafting. Creative endeavors can be so rejuvenating!

    4. Mercy, I'm in the southern hemisphere so no summer for me right now. There's about a month to go before next semester starts, but in theory this is my lighter teaching semester - more team teaching and guest lecturers, and I'm going to jump up and down about needing marking support to make my workload.


    5. It's always interesting to have some members in the southern hemisphere, both to learn how the academic calendar works around a very different combination of seasonal and (mostly northern-hemisphere/Christian-calendar-derived) holiday schedules, and because it provides insight into how the various calendars (seasonal, academic, etc.) fit together to affect our productivity.

      I do think the whole question of what kind of work one can productively do for how long, and what different kinds of work (and relaxation/recovery/self-care) can be combined, and how, to make for a day that is both productive itself, and sets the stage for additional productive days, is a really important one. Too often we work on the go-full-tilt-and-collapse-when-forced plan, and, besides not being healthy, I suspect it's actually less productive than something a bit better-paced.

  6. Hello,

    1. Topic
    I set a goal of writing two chapters of my book. Though drastic revision needed, I have drafts of them. Currently I am working of Chapter 1, the draft of which I wrote years ago, and I am rewriting it. The work itself is interesting, but I am wondering how far I can revise it. Still it needs lots of work. Another draft is recently written, but I need to add some more to make it a chapter. I have to make a plan of working, but I am wondering what I actually need to do. Doing exercises seems much harder I expected. I will have to start from the easiest, softest exercise first!

    2.last goals:
    1) to make a plan and to start working on Chapter 1. - I have started working, but I am too slow!
    2) to read the important articles for Chapter 1 revision. - There are still some left.
    3) to revise my documents for the committee. - Again, I was asked to revise my CV.
    4) to exercise for 5 minutes when I have time. - Only some.
    5) to have less sweets at night.- I am getting used to this. Though I still have some snacks at night.

    I usually like making a plan, but now I am get confused to make my revision plan. I read and re-read Belcher’s book, but still I am wondering what the real step is.

    My daughter’s ballet concert is on the coming weekend, and parents are asked to help to prepare for it. There are meetings at my department, and all of them are rather long. Also grading is waiting for me. Another busy week, but my weeks are always busy, and others’ too, I know. The problem is how I can manage busy weeks? At the moment, I am trying to change my mind, not thinking ‘ I am busy’ but ‘I am not busy, this is usual, this is nothing’. I hope it will work at least a little.

    5:next goals:
    1) to revise the first part of Chapter 1.
    2) to read 3 important articles for the book.
    3) to exercise for 5 minutes several times a day.
    4) to eat less snacks at night.

    1. I don't know, it seems difficult to tell oneself one is not busy when in fact one really is. I do appreciate the idea that framing is important, and maybe you can tell yourself that you're not TOO busy, just normal-busy, and you can handle it?

    2. Thinking about the words we choose to describe things and what those words come to mean, since language is so loaded. "Busy" seems to have negative connotations for many of us, I think. Rather than being overwhelmed, I want to practice being "deeply devoted"...or something like that. If I can make my mind think that the busyness is a blessing and not a curse (of my own making!)...

    3. Sounds like you're making progress. If following the steps in Belcher's book (the 12-weeks-to-journal-article one, I assume?) isn't proving as helpful as you'd hoped at this stage in the writing process, I wonder whether looking for another source of inspiration for how to tackle the writing process, especially for a book, might help? William Germano has a couple of good books that I've found helpful (_Dissertation to Book_ and _Getting it Published_), and I also like Rabiner and Forunato's _Thinking Like Your Editor_ (which is explicitly aimed at academics trying to write for a larger audience, but has plenty of good suggestions about good writing/organization that work for books on scholarly work more generally).

      Dame Eleanor Hull, who hosted some earlier iterations of an online writing group, also has a number of good musings of her own about writing, and links to/mentions of, additional thoughts by others, on her blog. You might start with the "writing" tag: .

    4. Thank you for your comments! I like the idea saying 'jst normal-busy', and 'deeply devoted'. Anyway, I think it is important to have things to do and feel to be needed.

      I remember Dame Eleanor Hull's insightful blog, Contingent Cassandra. Yes, I will read some tagged ones!

  7. 1. Ah, summer goals . . 2 articles sent off at the end of the summer seems unrealistic at this point, because wrapping up last semester has been so slow and is still ongoing. I'm not ready to give up on that ambitious goal, though. Like Jane said, sometimes when I really get going with writing, it can go pretty fast. It's not something I can count on for sure, but one can hope, right?

    2. Last week's goals assessed:
    a. finalize my share of admin docs that have come back from collegial imput--> did the one that came back, other one still held up w/colleague

    b. write for at least 2 poms on HA paper on 3 days this week--> nope, just didn't find the time, even if it was a modest goal

    c. spend at least 3 poms reading for HA paper 5 days this week--> did 3 days

    d. spend time walking/riding bike outside 5 days this week--> did 3 days

    e. move bedtime to earlier time! --> very little progress

    3. Analysis.Still busy with stuff from last semester AND busy with prep for next semester (and even year): scheduling people want to know actually when my field trips will be in spring 2016, which means that I need to know pretty well what the syllabus looks like, which means that if I'm changing up books, I need to look into that now, too.

    4. Planning. This coming week is still devoted to grading and MA supervision from last semester, but I really want/need the grading to be done by this time next week--this should be do-able.Now that I sent the required info about next year's scheduling, I need to restrain my urge to work more on the syllabi for next semester and get my focus back to TLQ writing stuff. I've realized that I'm not quite ready to "just write," but need to look again at the secundary lit, too, as well as any new papers that have come out in the 2 years that HA paper has been lingering.

    5. So, goals:
    a. get the grading for last semester out of the way and DON'T start teaching prep for next semester
    b. reading goal for HA paper: 5 articles on 5 days
    c. writing goal for HA paper: 3 poms on 3 days
    d. do NOT do goal: don't check email first thing in the morning
    e. go to bed earlier!!
    f. take lunch walks at work or after-dinner walks w/oldest kids

    1. "get the grading for last semester out of the way and DON'T start teaching prep for next semester" --I am so definitely singing this song along with you! Hoping for both of us to get through with the drudgery.

    2. I, too, have had a difficult time making the jump into the productive work I had envisioned for summer. I think it's always this way, and I need to remember that those first few weeks are not as "wide open" as I sometimes imagine they are. I hope you can wrap up the grading, etc., soon so you can turn to other things.

    3. It sounds like the tendency for the supposedly-finished school year to linger, and the next one to loom, is becoming quite a theme here. It's probably one of those things we need to build into our mental maps, so as not to waste time feeling frustrated with ourselves for pressures/interruptions that actually come from outside.

      I like the "don't" goals; those can often be as useful as "do" ones, especially for keeping TRQ fro overtaking TLQ.

  8. My summer goals still feel reasonable although I am generally having trouble getting myself to work. I am not sure what the cause of this lethargy is, and I am working at not beating myself up about it. I am trying to remember that resting and restoring are still important.

    The one change I am making to summer goals has to do with the third book proposal. An abstract for a journal article covering the basics of the book project was accepted, so I will write the article over the summer and see where it goes with regard to expanding that into a full book concept.

    Last week’s goals:
    1) One more go at finishing teaching-related tasks from spring: nope.
    2) Write call for proposals for edited collection project: almost finished.
    3) Write deadlines/schedule for upcoming article (which also needs a code name): no.
    4) Start work on So Overdue Project: no.

    Relisting last week’s goal with a minor tweak for the coming week.
    1) One more go at finishing teaching-related tasks from spring.
    2) Send out call for proposals for edited collection project.
    3) Write deadlines/schedule for upcoming article (which also needs a code name).
    4) Start work on So Overdue Project.

    1. Good news on the journal-article acceptance! That sounds like a good way to write your way into the book project, while also having something to show for it a bit more quickly.

      And yes, resting and restoring are necessary, and important (and often the little tasks one could spend a whole day not doing become manageable after even a modest break).

  9. I have been progressing too slowly. Like many of you, I have had many obligations and tasks competing for my attention. It was much easier to work, for example, when my husband was out of town. When I didn't have the kids, my time was my own. When he is here, working on the house, I feel like I should be working on the house, too. Not writing or reading a book. I know he wants me to work so that I can finish the PhD, but I think he also wants me to clean and be useful. I think I need to make sure our communication lines are open about this. When I feel this type of internal conflict, I tend to not get much of anything done. I find myself literally walking in circles in my house--torn between tasks.

    Also, in my most productive week, I realized that writing would be slower than I wanted it to be--slower than I needed it to be for my deadlines. I think that paralyzed me a bit. Now I realize that paralysis is much worse than SLOW, so I need to go back to trying to get some writing done regularly, even if it's just 250-300 words per day. Words on the page make me feel better.

    Last week's goals:
    1) Walk twice. Swim once. (I walked, but I got a cold and did not swim.)
    2) Finish primary source (not yet)
    3) Read two more secondary articles or chapters (YES)
    4) Write 750 words (NO)
    5) Help kids celebrate the end of the school year. (YES)

    It's been hard to get a lot of work time because hubby has been doing reno in the bathroom. By Tuesday, his part of the work should diminish and he says he can do more kid care so that I can work. I have mixed feelings about this, since I want to work, but I also want to have fun with my family. I think some intentional planning will be important.

    This week's goals:
    1) Walk three times. Swim once.
    2) Write 1500 words.
    3) Finish re-reading primary source
    4) Read 100 pages of secondary source material
    5) procure necessary items for daughter's sleep away camp (and avoid freaking out over the fact that she is going to sleep away camp, and avoid worrying that she is going for the wrong reasons--to bond with a "best friend" who has been neglecting her--and that the whole thing could go terribly).

    1. The walking-in-circles/torn between tasks thing sounds familiar to me (and I don't even have a hubby, or kids; of course, I also don't have a separate room to which I can retreat for writing). Communicating more directly about feeling pulled in more than one direction sounds like a good idea (and maybe going somewhere else to work, if that's logistically feasible, which I realize it may not be, might work?)

      I hope your daughter has a better-than-expected time at camp. Maybe she'll end up making new friends, or at least getting a new perspective on the old one? At least there will be camp counselors watching -- and, if they're any good at their jobs, which I realize can be a big "if" trying to adjust -- the group dynamics.

    2. CC, yes I do usually try to leave the house for work, but sometimes it's harder to actually make my exit when hubby is around. That will be part of the communication issue, I think. Like this morning, I took the kids to an activity, and now I'm at the coffee shop. But I feel guilty because the house is messy. But it's been three days since I've gotten to do any work, and cleaning the house would eat up all of my two hours of time this morning, so I didn't do it. Still feel guilty though.

      And thanks for your good wishes for my daughter. Those are the exact things I'm hoping for! The other girls mom and dad will be at the camp as nurses. I'm not sure if that will make things better or worse, but I am hoping the counselors will be good at mediating/facilitating those types of dynamics. Thanks!

  10. Hi all!

    Well, I thought my summer goals were reasonable, but perhaps my absence last week was proof that they are not. It was busy, busy. The archives were a delight, as always. I'd love to do archival research all the time. I even had a Eureka! moment. My sister's visit has been wonderful. This weekend, we went on a road trip to visit our brother and another sister, so I got less done than I'd hoped. But, I can't justify NOT seeing my siblings when it's so rare to get the chance, especially with so many of us free and in the same state.

    As for work ... sigh. I probably should re-calibrate my goals, but I'm not, at least not substantially.

    New goals:

    1. Submit the article. I am SO close and the deadline is tomorrow (though they've extended it to July 15th). This WILL be done ... almost momentarily.

    2. Finish grading some senior projects. I'm technically on leave with the baby, but senior projects stop for no woman. These are due Tuesday,

    3. Finish grading a few writing exams I picked up for some $$. These are due tomorrow.

    4. Get the summer proper under way ... swimming etc. for daughter, infant stuff for infant!

    5. And continue to clean the house! This basically means get rid of stuff.

    Okay, I'm off. Will have more time next week when I'm no longer entertaining house guests. GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!

    1. Good luck, you! Hope the submission went smoothly.


    2. Sounds like you had a couple of weeks of pretty successful TLQ work, if not on your stated goals for the summer, at least on equally-important long-term ones like staying in touch with the kinds of research work that fascinate you, and laying the foundation for work on current/future projects (hurrah for "eureka" moments!), and staying in touch with siblings, which can indeed be very hard, especially when a number of the siblings are busy with some combination of young(ish) families and career-building, but can also be a major source of life-long support, for yourself and your own nuclear family, and useful when and if care of the older generation comes into the picture, and just generally seems like a good idea, assuming one has a family that falls somewhere in the functional-to-manageable-dysfunctional range (crazy-making/energy-sucking families are another issue, and require a different approach, but it doesn't sound like that's what you've got, so having a good time with your siblings when there's a chance to do so sounds like the right choice, even if your summer timetable needs to be rearranged a bit to compensate).

      Good luck on getting the article in, and the end-of-semester loose ends tied up (this *does* seem to be a theme, even for those who are officially on leave), and getting the summer proper underway!

    3. "senior projects stop for no woman" -- Ha! I love this, and I feel like I could insert lots of things in place of "senior projects" to express the challenges we face on a daily basis when trying to do research and writing.

      Yay for archives and siblings! And yay for an article that is almost ready for submission.

  11. In terms of the summer goals, I think I'm in good shape. My major goal (finish the book) is on track. Other stuff is OK, though I've put off one of them because I'm cranky about stuff on campus. Sigh.

    Anyway, last weeks goals:
    1. Add in a few stray references in intro based on ILL books YES
    2. Go back to two messiest chapters to see where they are YES, and now they are OK, I think.
    3. Fix refs on ILL book due Thursday YES
    4. Make dentist appointment NO, this seems to be something I really don't want to do!
    5. Email editor, contributors, re. collection of essays: No, I'm putting this on hold while some other stuff is sorted out.
    6. Work through old essays that need to be entered into bibliography NO
    7. Walk or garden 5 days. 2: I think I have a ruptured ear drum, so I've ended up in excruciating pain after a vigorous walk. I was in so much pain I went to the doc, who said, oh, infection. But it happened again when I went walking the next time, so I think it's something else.

    Analysis: the ear thing was oddly debilitating - it's really painful. Otherwise, my decision that I was not going to work on the other project until some things are resolved on campus made me feel better. I even picked myself up pretty quickly from a rejection by a press.

    I leave on Wednesday for a conference, and then two days playing in NYC, taking my grand-daughter to the theatre to celebrate JR high graduation. So goals are modest - I really have one day at home, then a lot of travel time.
    1. Desk organizing/clearing so I can see it.
    2. Bibliography refs.
    3. Make Dentist appointment
    4. Other emails/ calls re house
    5. Read book for book review
    6. Book for teaching next year

    1. Sorry to hear about the ear problem; painful things are, indeed, debilitating, and distracting. I'm always surprised by how much energy (mental and physical, especially if they interrupt sleep, or exercise, or other rejuvenating activities) they take up. And as I get older, there seem to be more of them, and they last longer, so I more often than not find myself thinking, "why was last fall hard again?" and then recalling "oh; yes; I'd done something to my shoulder/badly sprained my ankle/whatever and wasn't sleeping well/moving as quickly as usual." Such experiences definitely give me increased sympathy for people dealing with chronic conditions of various sorts (and serve as a reminder that we all deal with more and more of such issues as we age).

      Anyway. . . .sounds like you were quite productive nonetheless. And it sounds like you've also come up with some useful "don't do that/deal with that" right now (presumably because it would take a disproportionate amount of energy of one sort or another, and distract from more important things) goals. That seems to be another emerging theme -- the things we're deliberately deciding *not* to do (which is, maybe, at least a partial answer to the semester-creep problem, at least when it's possible/available?)

    2. I'm impressed that you are on track with your book goals, and I hope your ear improves!

  12. allan wilson
    Hi all, still barely hanging in there. I seem to be in a really tired and busy period, but i am making lists and trying to keep up with flow of right quadrant and urgent at least, and bits of the TLQ. It is exhausting, but I am edging forward and I can feel I progressed this last week. Lists have been my friend, and encouraging myself to do -just- one- thing- on my lists - but exercise has suffered. I guess I just can't focus on too many things. So wildly late,but still here.
    Last week's goals
    1. Exercise four times (NO)
    2. encourage myself toward goal one (NO-essentially too tired)
    3. Make a list of tasks for CR (NO-But printed off lots of relevant docs and critique, so nearly ready to start)
    4. Finish paper whk. this will mostly involve encouraging my collaborator to do the work required which is holding the paper up. and, tightening up the suppl. mat, and checking a spreadsheet. I hope to achieve all (very optimistically!). (ALMOST THERE - final tidied draft sent to other collaborators, spreadsheet checked,figures drawn, but collaborator still to do his bit. Still, I am really excited about the progres I have made here).

    this weeks goals:

    1. Exercise four times
    2. Begin work on CR
    3. Send other nearly finished paper to colleagues for comment

    1. Focusing on too many things *is* hard. Still, it sounds like you're making some progress on one important project -- and one that involves working with other people, which always adds additional layers of complication .