the grid

the grid

Sunday 29 November 2015

Week Eleven: Gratitude

Greetings, fellow TLQers. I'm so sorry that I was MIA for the group comments this past week. I went on a writing retreat, and I so enjoyed focusing only on the writing and the me-time that I just couldn't pull myself out of it very well. Then I got home and company arrived.

Anyhoo, I enjoyed reading all of your comments, and there seems to be some real progress with some of the stubborn goals. Reading your responses to last week's topic was also interesting, and it seemed that, for a lot of you, the best response (as opposed to reaction) has been to disengage. Most of you talked about stepping out of debates, not managing the chaos, spending less time at the office, etc. This was very interesting to me, and these responses all seem like great ways to have more TLQ time.

As as U.S. participant in this group, I have been celebrating Thanksgiving (a holiday with a fraught history, of course), but the giving thanks part is something I value. So, in keeping with not being very original, I want to invite you to mention something from this past week for which you are grateful. (perhaps, especially, something related to your TLQ goals). I am certainly grateful for all of you.

And I want to put out a little cheer for JaneB and those last 8,000 words! Good luck!

allan wilson
1. Finalise CR draft 
2. Finalise other draft and send around to co-authors
3. Eat purposefully
4. Do not overwork beyond my work hours.
5. Say no to at least two things.

1) TRQ teaching stuff
2) nightly check-ins
3) exercise 5x, bunny hutch 2x
4) write down what I eat

Contingent Cassandra
1) conference follow-up, and also follow-up on a new professional project that began this week
2) make use of Thanksgiving break to catch up on sleep and perhaps exercise a bit
3) cook a bit if time (Thanksgiving is at a restaurant, so I don't need to cook for that, but my soup stores could use replenishing)
4) catch up with neglected household chores
5) deal w/ most urgent financial tasks, and plan when to tackle more TLQ-ish ones

1) Run 3 times (Ongoing goal)
2) Program development editing that has sat on back-burner for 2 weeks
3) Professional organization writing and editing that has sat right next to 2 above...
4) Make travel arrangement for lab visits

Earnest English
1. Have a nice Thanksgiving with Absurdist Family.
2. Call dealership to schedule tires, etc.
3. Call cardiologist and get that scheduled.
4. Grade a significant amount and hopefully get mostly caught up on two classes.
5. Continue some reading for Big Project.
6. Address next step for Little Project.
7. Finish Tiny Article.
8. Get Big Service Thing ready for Monday.
9. Move like water. Smile and laugh.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Write for 30 minutes 4x on creative writing or blogging. Still using the manicure as a carrot!
Walk midmorning 7x, and mid afternoon 5x. 
File the stuff left over from decluttering my desk for 20 minutes 5x. 
Organize my next day 7x. 
I hope everyone has a productive, calm, responsive and not reactive week!

1) By Wednesday, insert all notes/quotes into chapter, and get footnote citations in order since I won't be able to take ALL of my books with me on the writing retreat.
2) Exercise 3x, including yoga while binge writing.
3) Make Christmas gift list.
4) Find checks/call bank.
5) Make persimmon bread.

Do something research/writing related every day
Print out first chapter of revised book project and determine its status
Finish the book review, finally
Read two chapters/essays for book project
Catch up on grading

1) be reasonably nice to me, sleep, accept done as good enough
2) Write 50000 words of NaNoNovel by the end of the month (I'm cross with it right now but I know I'll feel bad if I don't finish and the exercise of writing it is therapeutic and makes a nice transition from work at the end of the day - and I only have 8k to go)
3) Spend an hour revisiting my paper list, setting some small goals, and picking One Thing to work on in December (I already have the PERFECT thing to do over Christmas - I've been asked to write a book review for a fancy Beach Studies journal of a 'general audience' book in a field I teach occasionally, took a specialist course in as a grad student, and find very interesting, but which is not my research area - and it has lovely arty photographs of coastlines in it. It's due 1st Feb, so reading it over Christmas will be my 'conscience box' (as we used to call it in grad school - the box of work you lugged around with you whenever you went away, to work on 'if you had time')).
4) recommit to 5 portions of fruit & veg a day (that's slipped some days, when I get... lazy isn't the word. There isn't really a word for finding the thought of actually chopping up a carrot insurmountably arduous, and daunting, but it happens. It's sort of part of being depressed?).
5) go to the gym once.
6) not be too jealous of US-ians getting Thanksgiving off!

1. Finish and submit gemstone paper
2. Write next tool for house project (needed for next week so need to get a move on)
3. Tackle the plan to finish acronym report.

1. Work on footnotes, plan work for trip to UK
2. Send off prospectus
3. Submit grant for internal thingie
4. Start work for surprise external application that will take a lot of time.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Week Ten: Respond, Don't React

There's been  a lot of difficult stuff going on - in the news, in our various institutions, in life generally. One piece of advice I picked up in the context of parenting was 'respond rather than react' - the idea being not to be caught up in the situation but to instead consciously choose to respond in line with your own values and priorities. Easier said than done, I think! Any tips or tricks to share to help create the setp back that allows you to respond are welcome. And/or report in on your motivations as well as goals from last week. How did that strategy go for you?

1) TRQ teaching stuff
2) TRQ holiday stuff
3) exercise 3x; clean bunny hutch 2x
4) nightly check-ins.

Contingent Cassandra
1) work on conference follow-up
2) try to keep to reasonable sleep/eating/exercise if possible routine despite very full days
3)keep up with most urgent household/financial tasks

1) Run 3 times
2) Finish data processing
3) Drag out 75% done paper that is languishing in file system and figure out what it needs to be finished.
4) Literature review, at least make some notes...

Earnest English
1. Make a list of Thanksgiving fixings to give to Absurdist Partner.
2. Figure out a couple dates to tell our babysitter so we can hopefully get a night out together in Nov-Dec. My real goal is actually two nights before the end of the year.
3. Call back the doctor so I can get my cardiology tests scheduled even if they are several weeks out.
4. Schedule taking in my car to get the winter tires put on and anything else that's supposed to be done even if it is several weeks out.
5. Be excessively kind to self.
6. Don't freak out on colleagues and chair.
7. Get big administrative thing and big service thing done on Wednesday.
8. Keep grading.
9. Sneak in a little escapism, well-filling, or relaxation every day.
10. Nothing is worth killing yourself over. Move like water.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Write for 30 minutes 3x only on creative writing. Manicure as carrot!
Walk midmorning 7x, and mid afternoon 5x.
File the stuff left over from decluttering my desk for 20 minutes 5x.
Organize my next day 7x.

Good Enough Woman
1) By Wednesday, insert all notes/quotes into chapter, and get footnote citations in order since I won't be able to take ALL of my books with me on the writing retreat.
2) Exercise 3x, including yoga while binge writing.
3) Make Christmas gift list.
4) Find checks/call bank.
5) Make persimmon bread.

1. Writing conference paper - need a complete draft by the end of Thursday. Linked motivations - declutter time/garden.
2. The gym trial I was thinking of isn't going to work with upcoming travel, so I'm going to try out online yoga videos. If I do 3 sessions a week in the trial period then I will subscribe.
3. Making a complete list of all Christmas presents. This is a kind of reward in itself as I do enjoy Christmas planning,

1. Prospectus in the email
2. Go back to book ms, work on footnotes
3. Second set of book orders
4. Contact person who will help with special class project for next semester.
5. Exercise 4 times.
6. Read a book before bed. (I'm wondering if a positive one will work better than the "no iPad" one.)

Friday 13 November 2015

Week Nine: Let's Motivate.

Hello, fellow TLQers. A lot of you have been doing a great job with your goals, and all of us have done a good job with some of our goals. But many of us have specific goals that we consistently do not meet. For me, I've had a difficult time doing the writing lately. I keep reading and reading and not writing. I'm also not working as quickly as I want to.  Some of that's because of outside interference, but some of it is my own fault.

So I started thinking about incentives. What could I offer myself to really get myself going? This also connects to Amstr's comment about internal/external motivation. Some goals seem to have their own reward (more sleep, for example), but we still avoid them because we're seeking other rewards (e.g., late night "me time") that override the inherent rewards of the goal itself.

So this week, maybe we can think about those stubborn TLQ goals and how we might motivate ourselves just a bit more. I'd like to encourage you to attach a very specific incentive to at least one goal for this week and maybe another one for one of your session goals, too (since we're more than halfway through!). It's difficult for me to identify incentives that are sufficiently motivating but that are also affordable in terms of money and time--and that I won't give myself if I don't actually reach the goal.

For example, I'm thinking that if I submit my chapter draft revision by November 24th (which because of interruptions this week could be very difficult to achieve), I can go to Target and spend $100 dollars (I want almost every sweater in that store right now). Or maybe if I submit an article by December 1, I can go to an afternoon matinee. I don't know. I just know that I need to give myself a kick in the pants or I'm going to have some regrets later down the road. (If you have a date-oriented goal that spans more than one week but not the whole session, you can keep it at the bottom of the goal list for each week so that it will track forward.)

I hope you all have a great week! November is a tough month; it tends to just slip away and dump us into an even faster-moving December. Let's make sure that we don't lose track of our intentions.

If you missed check-in last week, just jump back in!

1) TRQ teaching stuff
2) make a list for holiday prep with deadlines
3) exercise 4x; clean bunny hutch 2x
4) nightly check-ins.

1. Finish data entry -NO
2. Draw some graphs related to project ppw -NO
3. Finish the CR draft, which I now feel much more motivated about because I can see an end to it.-NO

Contingent Cassandra
1) do most urgent conference follow-up, and plan additional, including thinking about/investigating whether and where the presentation might become an article (preferably a fairly short but peer-reviewed one)
2) keep to reasonable sleep routine, and try to work in at least some exercise (especially gardening, since the deadline for fall cleanup at the garden plot is looming)
3) cook & freeze some food, and/or stock reasonably healthy pre-made frozen food
4) catch/keep up with most urgent household/financial tasks (I'll return to these with more focus once the garden is put to bed for the winter).

1) Data processing for two collaborative projects
2) Run three times (take 2)
3) Read extra new papers and write literature review for new project.

Earnest English
1. Keep up a decent grading pace, which unfortunately includes the stress of telling my family to leave me alone (repeatedly because 7-year olds don't get it).
2. Some kind of relaxation work each day, whether that's escapism (watching shows), working on the relaxation workbook, or tuning in to some kind of creative well-filling activity.
3. 30-minutes daily on Tiny Article. It will get done by Friday. Yes, it will. Even after two sessions, it's much better than it was, so don't stress about this. Don't think about it. Just do it.
4. Magnesium. Take it daily.
5. Do leg lifts and crunches while watching shows at night.
6. Continue to prioritize eating at regular intervals for good energy all day long.  
7. Don't expect anything of yourself after long teaching days.
8. Instead of stressing, see what service you can scoot over or enlist help with. (Had a great conversation with a colleague who is sweetly worried about my health who asked why I don't go and get out of one service commitment that is pretty much languishing. She's right.) Don't get involved in big arguments because chest pains suck.  
9. Nothing is worth killing yourself over. Move like water. --> recite mantra at will.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Write for 30 minutes 4x to finish some of the blog posts I have simmering.
Walk midmorning 7x, and mid afternoon 5x. I plan to add dog walking to the mix.
File the stuff left over from decluttering my desk for 15 minutes 5x.
Organize my next day 7x. I’m going to try to extend this habit to the weekend.

1) Outline Chapter 1
2) Add in 30 pages worth of Moleskin notes/quotes to Chapter 3
3) Read at least 5 chapters/articles
4) Find checks or contact bank
5) Keep up with exercise
6) Settle on some course changes so that I can start working on syllabi for next semester (sad face)

1. Write every day
2. Finish book review
3. Read one chapter or article for book project
4. Catch up on obligations for conference planning

1. Continue work on conference paper - 2x1hr sessions, 3x15 minute sessions
2. Move grant application along - get rough draft of idea to coherent stage and out for feedback.
3. Spent time outside each day
4. Do something kind for my body each day - stretching, bath, whatever.

1) self- care and domestic environment care
2) get the grant dispatched
3) do proofs for the Crunchier papers
4) have a plan for the following week assuming partial voice

1) Again, finish the first draft of the article. 
2) Do three minute-exercise three times a day. 
3) Think of working hard, and taking care of my health at the same time. 

1) Finish the 4 grading projects
2) take the notes I have and apply to revamped intro
3) Go to bed earlier

1. (Really TRQ, but) Finish the piece for next week's conference
2. Get book order in before deadline
3. Reexamine the prospectus.
4. Keep up with exercise.

Friday 6 November 2015

Week Eight - Dreaming of Sleep

This week's topic is a little bit silly, but does pick up on the common theme of sleep as an important part of self-care. if you had a genie at your command to magic up your ideal sleep environment, what would it be? Ten million threadcount sheets? A chamber ensemble playing lullabies? A cone of silence?

1. Finish data entry
2. Draw some graphs related to project ppw
3. Finish the CR draft, which I now feel much more motivated about because I can see an end to it.
1) write 2x (I have a critique group deadline coming up)
2) exercise 4x, clean bunny hutch 2x
3) plan out food for the week on Monday, grocery shop
4) declutter office for 1 hour total
5) nightly check-ins

Contingent Cassandra
1) finish preparations for conference talk
2) make the most of/enjoy the conference
3) get enough sleep along the way to facilitate the above, and return home ready to regroup for the rest of the term

1) Cook real food most nights!
2) Run 3 times
3) Project planning, and don't forget this time!
4) Reading project - do with 3 above for planning purposes, 2 birds and all...

Earnest English
-order book on destressing and relaxation
-have some down time every day
-make sure I get enough sleep and take good care of my health (am going to the doctor today, so I'm working on this!)
-get to grading asap, but in a reasonable and not totally-stressed out way
-work a bit on Tiny Article due in Two Weeks in small bits (it would be great if I could sit down and schedule this, but I don't know about that)
-pick a book related to Big Project to be my go-to book so I can feel productive instead of spending my time looking for a book and then reading something I really don't need to read (like a magazine) that doesn't get me anywhere (in terms of feeling productive)
-try to remember that it won't always be like this
-remember that nothing is worth killing myself over, especially bozo colleagues with antediluvian ideas that are unjust. move like water.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Next week’s goals: Write for 30 minutes 3x; 20 minutes 2x.
Walk midmorning 5x, and mid afternoon 5x.
Declutter my desk for 15 minutes 5x.
Organize my next day 5x.

Good Enough Woman
1) Outline new theory/history chapter that I think I'll need for the thesis, and draft at least 1000 words.
2) Read 7-10 secondary articles, chapter.
3) Read primary sources for 4 hours.
4) Mine my Moleskin notebook (at least 30 pages of it) for material to insert into chapter.
5) Night check-in, keep up with exercise
6) find checks or call bank

1. Write for tiny project every day, not worrying about word count.
2. Draft incredibly overdue book review.
3. Listen to/work with guided meditation.

1) self-care
2) grant application
3) Get ahead on NaNoWriMo
4) teaching prep for 2 weeks' time
5) half an hour of domestic environment self-care a day

1. Get all the planning done for daughter's birthday (actual birthday next week)
2. Paperwork for gym so I can start trial membership next week
3. Brainstorm grant application pitch and send off for feedback.
4. 1000 draft words on co-written conference paper (can build on earlier 15 minute writing sessions)

1. start typing in the data for scary project
2. find and read journals for gemstone paper and project
3. start getting ready for the Christmas crafts by tidying the work space and working out what I need to buy (hopefully nothing).

1) Again, finish the first draft of the article.
2) Do three minute-exercise three times a day.
3) Think of working hard, and taking care of my health at the same time. 

at least 8-8.5 hours of sleep at night.
And until this article is done, 20 minutes of writing a day toward it (revising or new words). Meditate at least 10 minutes a day. And really just make it through the home stretch without falling apart. 

1) Grade four major assignments--I am way behind
2) Clean house--I am home so I can do it
3) Put my ideas on paper for Behemoth

1. Finish planning courses for spring
2. Start drafting conference thing (it's a round-table, so not really a paper)
3. Pick up the prospectus for the book and finish the GD thing.
3. Keep up exercise
4. Ipad. Should not be in my bed with me.