Saturday, 20 February 2016
Week 7 Overcoming Internal Resistance
A colleague shared a worksheet from his tenure support group that I found very helpful, if more than slightly uncomfortable. It focuses on internal resistance to writing, making one name what is the internal resistance to working on a specific writing goal, and then work on ways to overcome it.
For example, I am horrified at the enormity of revising all of my textual footnotes from the dissertation and putting them into English for the commentary. My internal resistance is being overwhelmed. One way to address that resistance would be to break the task down into small increments of time. I started with fifteen minutes.
I also suffer from perfectionism, which I address by using a tip from my creative writing studies--not editing as I write. All of my academic training goes against that sort of rough draft that is allowed to continue as rough as it starts until it is done. Also, I find that my internal critic is much like the toddler that interrupts every five seconds, Finally, the interruptions and second-guessing overcome any forward progress, and the writing grinds to a halt. However, the tenure support group is counseling the same thing--write without editing until the first draft of the article is done.
As a final example, I suffer from imposter syndrome. I have to remind myself that I do have something to offer to the academic discussion, and that what I have to say does matter. After a few minutes of positive conversation with myself, I can set the timer for fifteen minutes and write.
I offer this spreadsheet as a possibility, but I’d love to hear any other suggestions you have.
Report in with the usual format for goals for last week, new goals, and discussion. And, as always, move like water.
1. Do overdue biological measurements
2. 10,000 steps each day
3. Stick to a nutritious eating plan
4. Do 250 words on the mammal paper.
So, this week my book project is again taking a back seat, but I think I will sit that goal out this week and focus on achieving these others.
1. Fit in more regular exercise
2. Keep working on establishing bedtime routine
3. Continue work on boxes (another storage run and/or some packing/mailing, whichever fits in better around other things, including the weather)
4. Make some more oatmeal, and some more soup
5. Try to figure out some kind of time off
It is a short week with a holiday, but no teaching, so FINISH REVISIONS is all I'm doing.
Do one PhD-related task a day to prepare for the probation review
Write fiction EVERY DAY
Cook good things for loved ones
1. Research and Read: Finish article revisions this week and turn them in. Keep toe in the water with Research during this Service-intensive time by writing or reading. 3x
2. Health: My anxiety about one thing has spiraled off the charts, and it is clear to me that it is not based on any kind of rational foundation, but is just part of some hormonal ungluing/anxiety disorder. Perhaps this week I could move forward by even one exercise in the Anxiety or Stress CBT books? Other than this, I have to keep up the good work with food, supplements, and sleep. Must get sleep.
3. Family: So we have a couple things in the cooker for Spirited Son, and we need to move forward with that. I need to talk to his piano teacher and make plans for a friend of his to come over. We also need to look at the Cub Scouts. Perhaps some kind of gym class or something so he gets some movement. So I need to keep things moving here. My crucial work here is to stop talking about Cool Service Project and work at home. I need to be more with them when I'm with them. I think part of the answer to this is that when I'm home on the weekdays, I need to treat it more like a workday and leave the weekends completely family oriented. I need to remember to not talk or get emotive about work with them.
4. Herbalism and Gardening. It's the middle of February, and I need to get my act together with planning the gardening for the year. I started this, but I need to order some seeds and the blueberry plants. I also need to figure out when I need to start seeds in the basement. This is an important part of family actually. I'm also going to make that kava kava thing today.
5. Work: I need to keep up a decent grading pace while also leading a search and working very seriously this week on Big Service Project. I really think that the key to moving like water with all this is to moderate emotions and not let myself go into getting frustrated or anxious or angry. I need to work on changing my attitude a bit better (not in a silly pop-psycho way, but in a reframing way to see if there are better ways to think about it all). I do love what I'm doing in Big Service Project, so that really helps.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
1) Another page of footnotes 2x.
2) Respond and support this group, which has been very good to me.
Good Enough Woman
1) Read article by guy I met at the conference
2) Print, read, and reconsider outline for intro
3) Write 500 words of intro
4) Finish reading/reviewing Chapter 2
5) Read 75 pages of primary source
6) Put my phone away when I'm with the kiddos (I don't look at it very often, but I feel self-conscious when I do. I want to model more mindfulness, not the need to check messages as a reflex.)
7) Help son figure out his gaming problem.
1) Ideally, go through the whole to-do list on the talk and fill in the blanks (with notes if not actual paragraphs)
2) Complete Article H
3) Start the next article on my list
4) Firm up plans for Feb. conference travel (i.e. look at the damn bus schedule already)
No new goals set; previous goals met!
1) bed before midnight, and ensure sufficient protein and fruit & veg in diet (even if accompanied by too many carbs and sweets) - continue to limit dairy (helps reduce cattarrh and general phlegmy disgustingness)
2) an hour of time spent with Picky Paper
3) something fun, e.g. guilt free novel reading BEFORE quiz grading!
1. Exercise x3
2. No crazy late nights
3. Hold Friday afternoon writing time
4. Move like water and calmly get all the pieces in place for beginning of semester.
1. Finish very short article on Loop project
2. Finish hat number 3
3. Get scary data in order to tackle second scary twin paper.
Kris (from week 5)
1. Finish the paper and send to group for comments
2. Pitch a short piece to the media
3. Sort out commitments to grant I don't like.
4. Keep up to date with my admin & leadership responsibilities.
1. Finish ms and email to press
2. Finish book review
3. Read at least one prize book
4. Prepare for meeting with accountant re. taxes
5. Exercise 5 times
6. Sleep regularly