the grid

the grid

Friday, 26 June 2015

Week 6 Check-In: Negotiating with Others

Looking over last week's check-ins, I'm seeing a theme: the need to negotiate goals and priorities with others.  Several of us noted that teaching and admin taks tend to be "noisier" than activities that advance our TLQ goals because they involve other people, and their needs and wants and preferences and priorities.  Some of us are finding it hard to set priorities and schedules, and get on with tasks (TLQ or otherwise) because we have to wait for input from others (collaborators, supervisors, family members, etc.).  And some have family members (partners, children, and/or parents) whose needs and priorities (and possible emergencies) have to be factored, and re-factored, into our plans.   Finally,  more than a few of us suspect there may be a gendered component to how we, and others, approach these issues. 

So, your topic for this week, should you choose to address it, is how you negotiate/balance goals, priorities, schedules, etc. with those of other people (professional colleagues, family/partner/friends, or both).  Do you find this a particular difficult area of life to manage?  Have you developed any strategies for negotiating these balancing acts successfully? 

Here's a reminder of the standard format for check-ins:

1. comment on the week's topic. 
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. Begin work on CR
3. Send other nearly finished paper to colleagues for comment

Amstr
1) exercise 5x
2) write 3x
3) agent/query/spreadsheet progress
4) cover letters
5) nightly planning session

Contingent Cassandra
1) Make at least some progress on financial/household tasks most days (at least 4 days, preferably more)
2) Swim at least twice (preferably more often), walk at least twice, work on garden/move mulch no more than 3 days.
3) Touch base w/ family member; spend time w/ friends (this last one is sort of built in, since there's a scheduled event)

Daisy (still away this week, I believe, but carrying 3-week goals forward)
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!!!

Elizabeth (carried over from week 4)
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.

GEW
1) Make a plan/agreement with Hubby for work time.
2) Procure daughter's camp materials
3) Read four articles/book chapters for current draft
4) write at least 1,000 words, incorporating references to chapters/articles read
5) Try not to sob uncontrollably when daughter gets on the camp bus on Sunday

humming42
1) Send off book proposal. Colleague says it’s all good and I should just send it. So I will.
2) Write to Overdue Project editor.
3) Work every day on Upcoming Article.
4) Begin reading book for book review.

There will be more painting and with hope, an escape day with Traveling Friend in Nearby City at the of the week. 


iwantzcatbocl
1) Work on text for chapters 2, 3 and 4.
2) Finish chapter 2.
3) Get deep into chapter 3 (it is a long one).
4. Go to Favorite Café every day
3. exercise 4 times
4. make flight arrangements for flight at end of summer for big trip
5. prepare progress toward tenure letters (all of them, because they are due Friday!)
6. check in with TLQ group!

JaneB
1) start some decluttering in areas where I will see results quickly!
2) be Good in the meeting on Friday
3) compose an email to my Head of Department asking about the things he has not replied to me about all semester and which are bugging me (already done this morning but going here as it took a lot of thought and editing. needless to say, no reply...)
4) write a series of one-pagers for papers that want attention, and do some assessment of what work would be involved in each/which ones I want to work on most. Oh, and give them nicknames, there has to be a fun stage right?
5) reacquaint myself with my NaNo writing, and write a little. 

Karenh
1. 30 minutes writing time because, damn it, I can find at least that.
2. Bring in food to work to allow good food choices. 

kjhaxton (carried over from week 4)
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
1. submit another article! I pulled a short section out of my book manuscript, one related to a new finding in the non-literary writings of my book's subject, and I'm going to try to get it published ahead of the book. My goal is to submit this one by Monday but would be happy with Wednesday.
2. Take care of some lingering bills from pregnancy.
3. Clean up some videos my students and I made for a grant project, so I can post them and notify the money-givers.
4. Continue to clean the house. My parents will be here in 3 weeks, and I'd like it to look better than it did in the throes of new babyhood last time they were here (when the baby was just 2 weeks old).
5. Play board games with my daughter at least twice this week. It's a little thing that she just loves. 


Matilda
1) To continue to revise Chapter 1.
2) To continue to read important articles relating to Chapter 1.
3) To exercise for 3 minutes after one working session (that is, 25 minutes)
4) To have less snacks, both day and night.  

Mercy
a. read/comment on 1 MA and 1 BA thesis
b. read/comment on 1 admin report as it comes back
c. museum visits w/house guests (took 3 days off for this)
d. reading goal of 1 HA-related article on 4 days
e. meeting w/TAs for next year's course (could not wait till Sep. after all)
 

Susan 
1. Finish book review
2. Fix expenses for trip
3. Go back to the introduction, and see what I need to add/ change etc.
4. Read through the whole thing one more time.
5. Exercise daily 


34 comments:

  1. 1. Good topic! The hardest for me to negotiate with is my family of origin, b/c I didn't see them much for grad school when I lived abroad, so they want to see a lot of me now that I'm back in the country. My borher and his family live with my parents, and I see them pretty regularly now, mostly on weekends. But I want/need to do a little bit of work on at least one weekend day, and that never goes well. If I suggest that I will skip a weekend, though, that goes over even worse. I spent a pretty unpleasant day just now trying to find 5 minutes here and there to comment on a thesis that only could be dealt with today, but it doesn't make anybody happy. Sigh.

    2. the week and its accomplishments:
    a. read/comment on 1 MA and 1 BA thesis--> yes, just now!
    b. read/comment on 1 admin report as it comes back--> never came back (?)
    c. museum visits w/house guests (took 3 days off for this) --> yes, and much fun it was
    d. reading goal of 1 HA-related article on 4 days --> no, just 1 on 1 day
    e. meeting w/TAs for next year's course (could not wait till Sep. after all) --> yes

    3. I'd underestimated that if one has houseguests for 3 days (6 museums visited & 2 dinners hosted!) and is moving to a new place at the beginning of the next week, one is not really up for "brain work" on the 2 half-days available for work. I spent the first part of the week having fun with our house guests, and the second part packing and cleaning house. I know there wasn't much else I could have done, but it still sucks a bit that it seems to be the pattern of my summers that, for very good reasons, I don't find enough time for writing. (The job market being what it is, I have moved houses/states/countries every summer for the past 3 years)

    4. planning for the coming week is that I should expect only minimal progress, seeing as we're moving houses and we'll be camping at my parents' house for most of the week (Tue thru Fri). So the topic for the week really is very appropriate, although I think instead of negotiating with my family to get some work time, I'll just accept that the week will be devoted to moving, packing, and prepping for a big yard sale.

    5. TLQ goals, then, are excessively modest:
    a. attend important meeting on Mon
    b. read 1 more MA thesis (on Sun)
    c. read 3 HA-related articles this week
    d. take some excercise each day, not just sitting at home

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Family expectations are definitely tricky to negotiate, especially when one sibling is very much available to the parents, and another sibling wants (just a bit) more distance. There are all kinds of books devoted to "setting healthy boundaries" with family, but of course both people's ideas and the reality of what counts as "healthy" can vary a good deal.

      Do either of your parents have experience of building a professional career themselves? If so, it might be interesting to ask questions about how they did it (and how they juggled family connections/responsibilities), and see what they say. They might discover a few things themselves in the process of describing their experience to you (for instance, the ways in which their own situation was different from yours). If no one in the family has experience of building a professional career (i.e. the kind of job you don't leave behind at a work location), I think it's harder, because you really are living a different kind/way of life, but they still might have something to say about their own difficulties with balancing marriage/nuclear family with family of origin (and just your asking such questions might get them thinking about ways they may be making things hard for you, without your having to actually say something directly -- though saying something directly, or at least being ready to admit/say that you sometimes feel torn if they seem to be leaving room in the conversation for such a statement, could be a good thing, too). Anyway, if you're spending time with them anyway, it might be worth a try at seeing if you can come to somewhat greater understanding of what would work for everyone involved.

      And yes, one of the hidden costs of academia as it is currently increasingly structured (worldwide, it seems) is the amount of time lost to moving houses, jobs, offices, etc. Although this shouldn't be true much longer, I think this may be one of the costs that is hidden to many more senior scholars because they always had wives, assistants, etc. to take care of such things. The dean in charge of graduate students at my grad school used to say (when he was frustrated by requests to make juggling school and family responsibilities more doable) that grad students should be prepared to devote "110% of their time" to their studies. We used to joke that he had, in fact, been able to do that, because his wife had supported both of them financially while he was in grad school, done all the housework as well, *and* edited and typed his papers (thus providing the extra 10%, though it was probably more like 20 or 25%; the acknowledgements sections of books that say "my wife should really be listed as a co-author" were often all too true). Few younger academics, female *or* male, can count on that sort of support these days, which means that all the moving around takes a larger toll on careers.

      Anyway, realistic goals for the moment sound like the way to go. If it's hard to work at home (i.e. your parents' home), I wonder whether you could follow the pattern several others mentioned here last week, and combine a walk (or a trip to the gym, or whatever else you do for exercise) with some time spent reading/commenting in a coffee shop or library? It might actually be easier for them to accept if you leave for a few hours each day than if you're at home but not paying attention to them. If that works, it might also be a pattern you could follow when you're visiting for a weekend.

      Delete
    2. I hope the week goes well! Moving is huge. I find I get very little done even packing for vacation.

      Delete
    3. I so sympathize with the difficulties of switching between fun/family time/other stuff and "brain work." It just takes awhile to switch on the reading, thinking, writing brain. I don't know about you, but my lizard brain is often much stronger (eat, sleep, eat again). Good luck setting and achieving your realistic goals. It sounds like you have a good sense of how to define them. I totally agree that the more you go away to get work done, the more your family will understand that you're not just "free" during the summer. I work away from home as much as possible, because my kids hate it when they can see me but not talk to me or reach me. (I sympathize, as my mom worked from home during my whole childhood, and my strongest memories of her are of her back, as that's all I was allowed to see!). Have a good week!

      Delete
    4. "but it still sucks a bit that it seems to be the pattern of my summers that, for very good reasons, I don't find enough time for writing."

      Exactly.

      Glad you had fun with your guests; good luck with your move!

      Delete
  2. I feel like I've just woken up from a long sleep, and am wondering where the last three weeks went. TRQ expanded to fill all of time and space and what time remained had to be family time.

    1. It is a good topic, and a very timely one. I've tried different things - scheduling TLQ stuff as if it were a meeting or timetabled teaching and saying 'no I am not available at those times' when someone tries to arrange something. Lately I've been dealing with the plague of doodle polls by picking only those times I could actually put up with the meeting in question rather than trying to be accommodating and picking all that I could do. It's indirect negotiation but trying to keep chunks of time free in the summer doesn't seem unreasonable. I'm very poor at direct negotiation so any conversation in which I decline something because I'm too busy is usually quite firm. I don't feel I can work for half a day or day at weekends over the summer - I've spent 20+ weeks of the year doing that, outings and house stuff have to take priority. And I shouldn't have to do it.

    2/3. Despite the deluge of unexpected TRQ, I did make some progress. The marking is done (as it was part of the TRQ) and I've done a little more writing than I expected to. That was more as an act of rebellion against *all*the*things* than any deliberate planning. And the list making is coming on well.

    4. This week I have two formal meetings scheduled and I scheduled them for the same day so there is one fragmented day. I plan to do TRQ paperwork that day as it will fit around the meetings. So that leaves four empty days - which is incredibly rare.

    5. I'm struggling to work out what I want to do this week! It feels like the start of the summer holidays and my four empty days are stretching ahead like an endless road.
    Goals: (a) Scary project: start re-analysing data for maybe conference presentation and read new literature on project.
    (b) Gemstone Paper: play around with data and start planning the figures
    (c) continue list making and cross off some small items from the various lists.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4 whole days sounds delightful! And daunting. When I have wide swaths of time, I have to have either goals for the day, or bite sized goals so I actually get something done instead of procrastinating.

      I hope your week goes well!

      Delete
    2. This is the greatest of all goals:
      "(c) continue list making and cross off some small items from the various lists."
      I shall steal it.
      Enjoy your four free days! You should take a nap or have a turn in a hammock on at least one of them.

      Delete
    3. When my husband was out of town, and I had control of my days, I handled large blocks of time by writing out a schedule the night before. It really helped me avoid futzing away the days.

      Delete
  3. Yes, great topic!

    It is very hard to negotiate for writing time. My husband is actually very good about this, and I have a long history of trips to the coffee shop while he watches the kid (now kids!). But, even with his support, I still find myself constantly negotiating with one person or another in the household, or with one obligation or another. Some cannot be budged (e.g., doctor's appointments); some should not be budged (e.g. sleep); some should definitely be budged (e.g., crap TV). I don't even know what I'm trying to say right now except that it always feels like writing is the moveable piece. That's no good.

    Last week's goals:

    I didn't do so well with goals this week. My MIL was in town, and then a wedding and out-of-town visitors ate up Thursday through Sunday. Oh well.

    1. submit another article!
    **NOT** done. I'm about 2/3 of the way there, though.

    2. Take care of some lingering bills from pregnancy.
    **NOT** done. Sigh. I hate this crap

    3. Clean up some videos my students and I made for a grant project, so I can post them and notify the money-givers.
    **NOT** done. Another sigh. Fortunately, when these *are* finally done, I can write an article about the process, so that's something to look forward to.

    4. Continue to clean the house.
    Sort of done. Laundry is in right now. The upstairs is looking more like a livable space and less like a storage area. But really, who wants to clean when there's a baby to play with??

    5. Play board games with my daughter at least twice this week. It's a little thing that she just loves.
    **Half DONE!**

    This week's goals:

    I'm sort of worried about this week's goals, as I'll be traveling for most of the week and catching up with friends for much of it as well. But setting goals is better than not setting them, as long as it doesn't get discouraging. So, here goes:

    1. Finish the article that I wanted to finish last week. Email it before I leave town for the holiday weekend. This gives me three days, ACK!

    2. Do the dreaded bills.

    3. Fix the captioning and the video summaries on the two videos that have been uploaded thus far. This will ease me into finishing, uploading, and captioning the remaining videos next week, so I can get started on that article before my parents arrive on the 10th.

    4. Pack for the weekend trip. Something I love to put on the list because then I can cross it off later!

    5. Enjoy extra time with my daughter, who has a break from the gym this week.

    Have a great week, everyone! If you're in the States, enjoy your hot dogs or veggie burgers, and the fireworks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re: Crap TV. Sometimes I think I might need to start working at night after the kids go to bed (instead of watching TV with my husband), but it's so hard to give up that time. It's only an hour, and it's great decompression. But that hour would probably help my productivity... I'm waiting for more desperate times before I take this step.

      Delete
    2. I. cannot. do it. Crap TV wins every time.

      Delete
    3. I had to outlaw TV Monday-Thursdays for the dissertation time (and whenever I have a deadline coming up). I was able to get tons done in that hour or two after bedtime. My problem now is kid bedtime creep. It's still so light out we've been getting them to bed later and later.

      Delete
  4. 1. I find I'm mostly negotiating with myself for how I use my time. I'm learning to graciously say no to things that don't fall into my life categories (health, career, creativity, community, household). I do need to ask for more time, though. I've felt guilty about taking so much time away from family for the dissertation that I haven't really taken a weekend or much weekend time at all for my current work. I should probably schedule some time in with my husband so I take the time. He's usually really supportive about working out time for me, since I'm the default parent with more flexibility.

    2. progress
    1) exercise 5x--4x, but really good workouts.
    2) write 3x--just a little on one day.
    3) agent/query/spreadsheet progress--a tiny bit
    4) cover letters--nope
    5) nightly planning session--yes--and it was really helpful.

    3. analysis (optional): technically I had extra time this week because my kids were at camp. In reality, I had to get the house clean for my daughter's birthday party yesterday, and that ate up the entire week (which tells you a little about what my house looked like). I'm glad to have the clean slate, but I do need to prioritize my time better this week. The evening reviews really helped me stay more sane.

    4. planning: It's a short week, but a pretty relaxed schedule. I'm hoping to make some progress before the holiday weekend. We're not traveling, though, and my husband has both Thurs and Fri off, so I may get some time to myself then.

    5. goals for the next week:
    1) exercise 4x
    2) write 3x
    3) agent/query progress
    4) cover letters
    5) nightly planning sessions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes me forever to prep for a party. It also took me forever to prep daughter for her sleep away camp, and, still, on the morning of, I screwed up several things. Details spin me in circles.

      I know how you feel about all of the time you spend on the dissertation, but you finished about 20 months ago, so I think it's probably okay to ask for some time now. :)

      I hope you have a good week.

      Delete
  5. Long comment eaten by computer! Short version for now:

    Progress
    1. 30 minutes writing time because, damn it, I can find at least that. - yes
    2. Bring in food to work to allow good food choices. - no

    Classic detail week - TLR to wrap up last semester, son and me sick
    Next week busy with next semester prep but will be home alone as of Thursday afternoon as the rest of the family goes away.

    Goals
    1) Knock off 2 tasks from P1 admin list
    2) 30 min writing x3
    3) read/note 2x article for P2; order in book that looks directly on topic
    4)reinstate bedtime alarm, 4 x physic exercises.

    Karenh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you and son are feeling better and that you enjoy your "home alone" time! I miss my family on the rare occasions they go somewhere, but I do find the time to be precious. The hard thing for me is making sure I actually work (as opposed to just rolling around on the floor basking in the solitude).

      Delete
  6. Negotiating with others: I'm not very good at this. I am a "yes" woman who is often motivated by guilt and a sense of duty. My daughter gets sad when I work, and my husband has mixed feelings about my work. Hubby and I will have to have a talk in order to establish good communication lines that will sustain us for the next 6-12 months as I try to wrap-up the thesis, but I will also have to time that conversation well. Once he and I are on the same page, we can talk to the kids. This week, he seems to be giving me a long leash (so far).

    Last Week's Goals:
    1) Make a plan/agreement with Hubby for work time: NO.
    2) Procure daughter's camp materials: YES, but only at the last minute. On the way to camp (and running late) we realized I forgot to pack her swim goggles. This resulted in a stressful detour. And we were running late because we had to stop once before that to get insect repellent, for which I went to the drug store earlier that morning but still forgot to buy. All this despite me thinking I had it all together.
    3) Read four articles/book chapters for current draft: MAYBE half of this?
    4) write at least 1,000 words, incorporating references to chapters/articles read: NO, only about 1/3 of this probably.
    5) Try not to sob uncontrollably when daughter gets on the camp bus on Sunday: YES! We were in such a hurry, and we were almost the last ones there, so after rushing through check in, she was off looking for her friend, and, after a couple of quick photos, she was on the bus without me getting so much as a hug! As the bus pulled away, I started to tear up, but then another mom friend of mine started talking to me, so I pulled it together. Very proud of myself. (And daughter, too, of course.)

    Planning: This week, daughter is at camp. In some ways, this frees me up to work, but, at the same, time, I want my son to have some special attention. Not quite sure how to play this one. I'm also thinking of a quick research trip to a nearby uni. We have less than two weeks before we leave for a long trip, and I was hoping to have drafts completed by then. It's not looking good for my deadlines.

    Goals for this week:
    1) Finish most of reading for Topic S and incorporate references into draft and write related sections.
    2) Maybe: Drive to UC library that is about 90 minutes away in order to access databases and useful books
    3) Make time for a couple of quality activities with my son
    4) walk dog 3x
    5) nightly planning (with discussions with Hubby)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations on getting your daughter off to camp (even with last-minute emergencies), and best wishes for juggling/negotiating priorities this week.

      Delete
  7. Apologies for showing up late this week. As Amstr said, I do more negotiating with myself than others. One reason for this is an excessive amount of mind reading that I am working to undo. For example, my husband may really want to go in his office and do something in solitude, instead of expecting me to stay around in each others’ space just for the sake of presence. Contrary to what I think in my own head, he wonders why I’m not in my own office, working on that book I’m writing. I don’t need to be perpetually present.

    Last week:
    1) Send off book proposal. Colleague says it’s all good and I should just send it. So I will: Done.
    2) Write to Overdue Project editor: Putting this off, but I will.
    3) Work every day on Upcoming Article: Not much work done here.
    4) Begin reading book for book review: Reading, a really excellent book.

    There will be more painting and with hope, an escape day with Traveling Friend in Nearby City at the of the week: Yes to both.

    This week, more in the same vein:
    1) Talk with book publisher, start to figure out how to pull this together.
    2) Work on Upcoming Article
    3) Finish book for review
    4) Work on proposal for edited collection

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mind reading. Yes, me, too. That's why Hubby and I need better communication lines. When I ask if I can go work, and he says, "Yes," I often think it is a resentful "yes." But is it? Need to move past this by communicating, doing the work, and not just loitering around the living room and kitchen.

      Delete
    2. Congratulations on getting the proposal off, and on getting a solid start on several other things (plus an escape day). Sounds like a pretty productive week.

      Delete
  8. topic: I'm another person who negotiates more with myself... and frequently loses out... plus I tend to just give in to other people rather than negotiating. I'm trying to do better, but it just doesn't seem to work on my current boss or my students - I need more adult, reasonable people to negotiate WITH in my life! Plus I live with a cat - negotiation is not the nature of my domestic set-up, more like she demands what she wants and I either provide it or use my few advantages of greater size, manual dexterity and tin openers to deny it to her and put up with the consequences. Neither of which are any kind of negotiating.

    goals last week: 1) start some decluttering in areas where I will see results quickly! nope
    2) be Good in the meeting on Friday not really
    3) compose an email to my Head of Department asking about the things he has not replied to me about all semester and which are bugging me (already done this morning but going here as it took a lot of thought and editing. needless to say, no reply...) did this. did get a reply eventually. blogged about it excessively, am still stressing about it. Shut up brain!
    4) write a series of one-pagers for papers that want attention, and do some assessment of what work would be involved in each/which ones I want to work on most. Oh, and give them nicknames, there has to be a fun stage right? I wrote about 1500 words of free-writing/list making about the next few paper options. I kind of want to work on none and all of them at the same time. Sigh. I downloaded a lot of readings one day at work on the fast internet for one of them, and have spent a few hours looking over them and getting a better idea of what shape the paper might have realistically; I COULD spend a year doing loads of research and modelling, and get a really shiny paper, but it'd probably still not be that glamorous, and it's probably more sensible to try and come up with just enough to make it solid and get it DONE. So I wrote another page on that paper last night, which brings it more into focus. This sort of think-and-write-and-think-and-write is a strategy I used quite a lot during my post-doctoral and early academic years, when I was sort of figuring out how to get traction on some less than perfect projects, but it's been somewhat overwheleed by collaborative writing in the last few years. My writing life is one of continual rediscovery of tools and strategies, I guess partly as the tasks change and partly as my needs and context evolve, but within the same set of thresholds so different parts of the toolkit come back into use. I did nickname them... Ferret, Foxy and Flotsam for the three which come out of Project F and involve PDF in various ways, Picky Paper and Twiddly Paper for the two computer-model led ones, Smart Paper for the one based on the dissertation of a smart undergrad last year and Digging Paper (Digging up the Old Stuff) for one which feels timely now given the discussions in some papers I ran across in my downloading spree, and is based on a conference talk and seminar I gave 2-3 times about 5 years ago
    5) reacquaint myself with my NaNo writing, and write a little. didn't. Am actually kind of tempted to use the time I've mentally set for this to write about writing - Camp is for non-new-novel-writing writing, if the writer wishes - and 'lessons from writing group' might be rather a fun short thing to compile, a mixture of tips and anecdotes and recollections about the last 25 years (! I started my PhD 25 years ago this Autumn) of trying to write about academic matters... it might even have some traction as an actual e-publication or at least a resource for others, one day... I'm really tempted by this (I do love my omphaloskepsis!) - any views or advice?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. analysis: I'm tired and frustrated and feeling DONE with a lot of things I've barely started. Possibly not entirely separate from this, the weather has switched to humid and hot, which makes me want to hibernate (OK, aestivate). And the study leave clock is ticking loudly. Combined with unanswered emails and my stupid squirrel-in-a-cage brain and probably a bit of depression brain-fog this hasn't been a very productive week. I guess it happens but it seems to happen far too often to me! And makes me Fed Up, which is itself unconducive to productivity...

      goals for what is left of this week: 1) focus on Three Managable Things each day, one for work, one for my environment, one for my health and well-being - and I can use either/or items to appease my inner toddler if necessary, as discussed before!
      2) nag the co-author of the very close to submission paper pair Crunchier and Crunchier's Little Brother - he promised them back last Tuesday, that's nearly a week ago...

      Delete
    2. Sounds like you at least made some progress in getting answers you needed (even if they weren't as complete as you need) and taking inventory of what you might do next, and why (and naming things; naming is good). I like the writing-about-writing idea (but I'm a writing teacher, so I would).

      Delete
  9. Sorry to be so late. . . I wanted to get through a bunch of stuff first.

    Topic: My negotiations are with myself, primarily; but also, because when I'm back at work, my admin role leads to lots of meetings that are scheduled without much attention to my needs. I am the lowest ranking person involved, so am usually working around the schedules of people I need who are higher up. But I've been thinking about how I could protect time for my writing when sabbatical is over.

    Goals last week:
    1. Finish book review -- almost/ I've got a very good draft, just need to re-read because I didn't love the book but I want to be generous.
    2. Fix expenses for trip DONE
    3. Go back to the introduction, and see what I need to add/ change etc. DONE
    4. Read through the whole thing one more time. DONE
    5. Exercise daily Three days? Four days? (If you consider a small amount of garden work...) I did figure out that the ear buds were the source of my ear problems, so that was helpful.
    6. Book Proposal - started, but needs a bit more work.

    Analysis: My sabbatical ends in 5 hours. Of course, nothing really changes tomorrow morning, but I've used that as a deadline. I've met the goals on the book ms., which (once I've had some dinner) I will email to two readers. At the moment, I think it's a complete piece of crap, but I know that it's a bit better than that. My work was slowed down by other people's needs -- a good friend who was just widowed came to my area, so I spent all day Friday with her. There was an unexpected (and poorly executed) meeting at church on Sunday. So it was a bit more stressful than I expected.

    Anyway, now to move forward.
    Goals for next week:
    1. Send off review
    2. Send proposal to publisher
    3. Start going through incredible ILL piles that make my office dangerous right now.
    4. Bibliography stuff
    5. Organizing tasks in former study, bedroom closet.
    6. Exercise at least 4 times
    2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you've managed to prioritize at least one very important thing (book ms.), and have made progress on other things, while paying appropriate attention to others' needs, however unexpected. So -- win?

      Delete
    2. Yes -- I was very single minded the last few days, so there was almost no food left in the house last night!

      Delete
  10. Having written the check-in post, I'm now checking in rather later myself, and without much to say about the topic. Maybe I'll have some thoughts later this week.

    Last week's goals:

    1) Make at least some progress on financial/household tasks most days (at least 4 days, preferably more)
    2) Swim at least twice (preferably more often), walk at least twice, work on garden/move mulch no more than 3 days.
    3) Touch base w/ family member; spend time w/ friends (this last one is sort of built in, since there's a scheduled event)

    Achieved:
    1) Made progress, but mostly on a single day
    2) Not sure of the exact count, but I did a lot of moving mulch and no walking or swimming
    3)yes and yes

    Goals for this week:

    1) Do some follow-up on financial projects started last week; start process of switching to smartphone (purchased but not yet set up) and changing carriers.
    2) Continue activity of some sort most days, most likely mulch-moving (I've given into the reality that this seems to be my physical activity for the moment; the mulch is available unusually late in the year, and will run out soon; in the meantime, it's valuable -- and free! -- raw material for several gardening projects, and the best partial solution I can find to a flooding problem).
    3) Replace key tag I need to get into pool (which I somehow managed to lose off my keyring while -- what else -- moving mulch).
    4) Follow up w/ family member
    5) Take advantage of holiday weekend to relax a bit and detach briefly from online class, in preparation for a very busy teaching week (draft conferences) next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moving mulch is definitely exercise. Not fun, maybe, but exercise. And productive.

      Otherwise, I wonder if the negotiation process is different for those of us who live alone: we negotiate with our own expectations, or with external obligations. I hope you have a relaxing weekend!

      Delete
  11. allan wilson
    1. Exercise four times - yes
    2. Begin work on CR - just started
    3. Send other nearly finished paper to colleagues for comment - yes

    I am starting to get out of the hole where I have been struggling for a while. Exercise was good- nothing exciting, but I am starting to get back out there at least. Thank goodness- it helps my mood no end.

    Starting CR- well, I spent a whole day yesterday doing what Jane B described- looking at how I could turn it into a really shiny paper, if I had more time to commit to it. BUT I don't, so it is going to be a very ordinary but hopefully ok paper instead, because essentially I have things that I want to do more, with my limited time. But I find it very hard to leave. It took me a whole two days to get to the point where I have now said," this is not a priority. I am being stupid. There are things I want to do on other papers, more". I notice it is easy for me to get trapped into wanting all my papers to be shiny. However, I have now managed to mentally extricate myself and move on for this one. so that is a plus, and I can refocus on just getting it out.

    Finally, I managed to get my paper off to my collaborators, and that feels really good. I have a huge sense of relief t have completed everything. However, I notice here, that when I struggle with papers like this one, I get really grumpy, particularly if I feel as though I am picking up their share of the work on the paper. Steam really starts coming out of my ears, and then I have to work to shut off the emotion and just focus on the paper. which takes lots of energy. With this particular collaboration, I haven't been able to express my feelings about their lack of input in a way that this collaborator (a very nice person) understands- that I am NOT ok to keep picking up his part of the work. I also feel that it is a very gendered issue, and that he would not treat his male collaborators similarly, but he assumes I will do the extra work. The mood thing is also not good, because it affects me at home as well- I can't leave it at the door.

    So, to the topic - negotiating goals and priorities. I don't do this well. I can prioritise other people's stuff, but not my own. I wonder if this is because I want to please others - the positive feedback is great. Harder to do for myself - maybe if I can reward myself for meeting my own goals, this might help. I do find listmaking helps me have a sense of order though, so I don't think, I just do. Helpful for urgent stuff - but not so effective for TLQ things.
    Anyway, I am hoping for a productive week ahead, as next week I am away for a couple of weeks so work will be limited.

    This weeks goals:
    1. Finish revision of CR
    2. Prep talk
    3. Exercise 3 times
    4. Eat no more than one piece of junk a day
    5. drink at least 4 glasses of water
    aw
    .

    ReplyDelete
  12. 1) Work on text for chapters 2, 3 and 4.
    2) Finish chapter 2.
    3) Get deep into chapter 3 (it is a long one).
    4. Go to Favorite Café every day
    3. exercise 4 times
    4. make flight arrangements for flight at end of summer for big trip
    5. prepare progress toward tenure letters (all of them, because they are due Friday!)
    6. check in with TLQ group!


    1. Topic: good one! I am coming in late to respond on this, but one thing that strikes me in reading all of the posts is that when faced with actually thinking about how negotiating with others actually impacts our work, so many of us realize that it is actually ourselves that stand in our way. I think I like to think it is my husband’s fault for being so demanding of my time, but the fact is, he is more than happy to take up my time when I am around, but if I make myself scarce he does not complain at all. Funny.

    I don’t find neogiateing priorities easy at all. The loud ones and the concrete ones get my attention and I tend to put things off until they truly can’t be avoided. Sad to say it has worked pretty well in terms of completing things in life (got job, got tenure, blah blah blah), but it does make me more adrenalized than I would like.

    Also, I like watching crap T.V. too, like many of you. Still feels like a treat to myself since the diss/grad school days of total deprivation all the time.

    2. Progress.
    1) Work on text for chapters 2, 3 and 4.
    Worked on 2, also worked on 7. Didn’t work on 3 or 4 at all. But a win overall?

    2) Finish chapter 2.
    Yes, I think I did.

    3) Get deep into chapter 3 (it is a long one).
    Nope.

    4. Go to Favorite Café every day
    Went five times I think. This is good.

    3. exercise 4 times
    I think so?

    4. make flight arrangements for flight at end of summer for big trip
    Yes! Very excited.

    5. prepare progress toward tenure letters (all of them, because they are due Friday!)
    Still not done, now overdue, but some are done.

    6. check in with TLQ group!
    Super late, but done.

    Planning:

    Well this next week is kind of the same as last week, so I am going to just simply pare down last weeks, since tomorrow is Friday anyway.

    1) Work on text for chapters 2, 3 and 4.
    2) Finish chapter 2.
    3) Get deep into chapter 3 (it is a long one).
    4. Go to Favorite Café every day
    3. exercise 4 times
    4. make flight arrangements for flight at end of summer for big trip
    5. prepare progress toward tenure letters (all of them, because they are due Friday!)
    6. check in with TLQ group!

    ReplyDelete