the grid

the grid

Friday, 7 October 2016

Week Four: Finding a Rhythm

Many group members are now settling down into teaching, or have passed through major milestones. This seems like a good time to reflect on finding a rhythm - be that across a day or week, within specific activities, or over the longer term. Some people have flagged recurring activities as part of their goals - how do you find ways to set and maintain a pattern, routine or rhythm that works for you?

allan wilson
1. Exercise 4x.
2. Reduce eating from boredom and frustration
3. Sort out all data for next TLQ paper- let me call it WMorph - first, by doing some measurements, then checking data spreadsheets.

Contingent Cassandra

--get some work done in the garden
--visit the farmer's market

1) Introduction, Literature review and previous work section for Paper 1
2) Data organization for Paper 1
3) Conference talk, and fully written out discussion for the topic to put into paper later

Dame Eleanor Hull
1. Self care: gym 5x, walk 2x, yoga 5x, meditate 3x.
2. Put in 4 hours on R&R #1 (enter comments in the margins, finish reading one book I bogged down on, type notes from it)
3. Sort out that translation-related thing.
4. Do one of two financial things I’ve been putting off.
5. Make 2 phone calls for estimates OR put in 1-2 hours in the basement.
6. Take care of TRQ, so it doesn’t distract me from TLQ.

Earnest English
Upcoming Week: Theme: Quiet Calm

Mental Health: Planning prevents panic. Think ahead. Mantras are good. When in doubt, breathe. Meditate 2x this week. See if it helps at work. Yoga? Keep eye on the ball: what counts is doing a good job and going home.
Gardening: 1 hour of gardening next weekend
Writing: 3 sessions of writing/revision
Health: sleep, rest, relax
Cooking: one meal this week
Planning: Spirited mail.
Spirited!: therapy.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Continue physical therapy exercises x 14
Improve eating habits, avoiding bad things x 7
Walk x 7
Yoga x 1
Plan vignettes with my sister
Prudence x 5
Pierpont x 3

Health: Exercise 3x.
Home: Bills, security things.
Research: Order the ILL things. Read one thing.
Family: Take daughter shopping for pants; do Halloween shopping, costume prep, and party prep with kids. Help son get started on Code Academy.

Humming 42 (held over from week three)
1 Ungloomy is due in a week so I expect that will occupy most of my time
2 Finish book one for book review
3 Final read through for rpb chapter 5

Goal: Survival. Not shouting at anyone outside my head.

Karen (held over from week 3)
1. Make visible progress in the garden.
2. Value sleep

1. use scary and house research tools to get some more data
2. refine teaching plans for academic year and work out what might be doable and what is impossible
3. sort diary out as best I can and start declining things

1. Finish book review
3. Two chapters of footnote checking
4. Walk twice

1. That stupid analytic plan
2. Survive mock review of my NIH grant this week
3. After mock review, figure out my game plan
4. Work on CSA paper ideas
5. Work on ideas for SU grant.


  1. Theme:
    We’re midway through the term already at LRU. I had a rhythm going for several weeks, but now it’s breaking down a bit. Still, overall I’m sticking pretty well to the time map I laid out for myself in a Japanese garden on the west coast the weekend before school started. Over the past few years, I’ve learned to be more aware of my personal rhythms and what I can actually manage to do in a day, and that helps. It also helps to think that plans are a means to an end; I have not “failed” if I don’t stick to the plan. No one is judging me by whether I can start work at a precise hour and read, write, or grade exactly the things I thought I would. So long as the things get done in a timely way, that’s fine. The plan is just a way to make sure I get started on something and stay aware of priorities.

    I’m doing fine w/r/t work and self-care. What I have trouble with is breaking off work to take care of Life Stuff. I would almost always rather work than make phone calls, deal with the disruption to routine caused by having other people come and do maintenance, shop for non-routine items, or spend time in the gloomy dank basement looking at stuff I either don’t want or about which I feel conflicted. So this week I’m going to experiment with taking a single day for all that stuff, rather than trying to work in the morning and do other things in the afternoon. Begin as I mean to go on, rather than letting transition-trouble trip me.

    How I did:
    1. Self care: gym 5x, walk 2x, yoga 5x, meditate 3x. GYM 3x, WALK 3x, SIT 3x, YOGA 2x.
    2. Put in 4 hours on R&R #1 (enter comments in the margins, finish reading one book I bogged down on, type notes from it). YES time, NO tasks. Instead, I worked out a detailed outline for the new intro and a less detailed one for the revised paper. I have to put this one aside to work on the other one, so I needed to leave myself a clear map of what to do when I get back to #1.
    3. Sort out that translation-related thing. NO.
    4. Do one of two financial things I’ve been putting off. NO. But I paid bills.
    5. Make 2 phone calls for estimates OR put in 1-2 hours in the basement. NO.
    6. Take care of TRQ, so it doesn’t distract me from TLQ. YES although of course more TRQ always hits; it’s the nature of the beast.

    Next week’s goals:
    1. Self care: gym 4x, walk 3x, sit 4x, yoga 2x, 5-10 minutes of basic stretching 5x.
    2. R&R #2: 4 hours (print reviewer comments, make own list of Things To Do, collect or ILL necessary books, start working from list).
    3. Do the translation-related thing.
    4. Finances: ½ hour to do the simple thing. Figure out what I need in the way of circumstances to do the other one (which is still pretty simple; I’m just blocked for some reason).
    5. House Stuff: devote one day simply to house/personal stuff.
    6. Take care of TRQ, so it doesn’t distract me from TLQ.

    1. I'll be interested to see how your one-focus-per-day approach works out, since I get tripped up by transitions, too (the first thing I work on each day almost always gets done; the others, not so much).

    2. I also avoid *forever* the phone calls, appointments, etc. They are so complicating and unpleasant.

    3. I think I need to update item 1 due to flare-up of my old ankle injury: Gym 3x (upper-body weights only; maybe swim with a leg float); limit walking as much as possible; sit 5x; yoga 3x; 5-10 minutes basic stretching 4x. Basically, I need to find ways to stay as fit as possible (mentally as well as physically) while staying off the ankle for a couple of weeks. Grumble. I hate not being able to work out properly. I guess this might mean I have more time for other things, though that won't help if I don't sleep properly due to lack of exercise.

    4. Sorry about the ankle. Like CC, I'm curious about the "one day" strategy. My experience is that when I get going, I'm astonished at how much I get done in how little time, but getting there is oddly overwhelming.

    5. Hope the ankle settles soon. And I like the idea of a short time to do one simple thing - keeps it in proportion.

    6. Thank you, Susan & Karen, re the ankle, and GEW re the phone calls---it's nice to know that I have company on that one, since it feels like a failure to be a grown-up!

  2. How can I find ways to set and maintain a rhythm or pattern with good habits? I especially want to make habits of slowness/not rushing, mindfulness/thoughtfulness, and being here (especially home) now in order keep a decent attitude in these hard times when I need to really stand for and support values of work-life balance and kindness at work and need to maintain a decent home life and headspace in the face of complete idiocy. Key to this is planning and not rushing (which is mostly caused by panicked working, which has a lot to do with a nearly impossible workload) and being reasonable about what I can do and not do. I can only say I’m trying and mostly succeeded last week to keep myself calm and present and need to keep it up this week, especially as things heat up.

    Last week I had some difficulty getting back into the swing of things, especially in the morning. Maybe I should wake up an hour earlier, which of course means going to bed an hour earlier (something this life-long night owl is pretty bad at). I’m not sure quite yet what to do here.

    I completely saw how difficult it is to get any research/writing time in. The morning is just a bad time for me in terms of energy and headspace, but what research time I managed last week (mostly, but not entirely, reading) was in the morning. But it’s also clear that my teaching and service loads are such that often I rob the mornings of that time to do work so I don’t have to stay up impossibly late. So when can I write? I’m not sure but I probably need to come up with a couple times over the course of the week that are inviolate. But finding the time is really necessary to my being, both personally and professionally. So far, it’s been very difficult to get everything done as it is, but I’m doing better refusing to work all the time. Yes, those things really will have to stay on my to-do list until I have some time to do them. Another thing I’ve noticed is that I really need to stretch more. I don’t have to go to yoga – I didn’t go this week because of too much work – I could do it at home, but I feel slammed already. My Rx is Breathe, meditate, stretch, tea, and baths, as needed.

    What’s been great this week is that I’ve stuck to my Saturday goal of no work and instead I did a lot of the things it’s difficult to do during the week (playing with the chickens, gardening, cooking) that are grounding. I just have to hold fast to my deep belief that it’s my ethical duty to have a life and keep myself grounded in the face of those who’d like us to “efficiently” half-ass our jobs so we can be research machines.

    Last Week

    Mental Health: Planning prevents panic. Think ahead. Mantras are good. When in doubt, breathe. Meditate 2x this week. See if it helps at work. Yoga? Keep eye on the ball: what counts is doing a good job and going home. MOSTLY GOOD, meditated once, no yoga. One terrible nightmare caused by lack of planning.
    Gardening: 1 hour of gardening next weekend YES
    Writing: 3 sessions of writing/revision; managed 3, mostly reading though
    Health: sleep, rest, relax YES
    Cooking: one meal this week YES
    Planning: Spirited mail. YES
    Spirited!: therapy. YES

    This Week’s Theme: Grounded and Principled

    Mental Health: Planning prevents panic. Breathe, stretch, meditate, drink calm tea, take baths. Be here now/no free rent in my head.
    Gardening: 2 hours of gardening/clean-up; look into ordering garlic
    Writing: 4 sessions of writing/revision
    Health: sleep, rest, relax, take supplements, eat well.
    Cooking: one meal this week
    Planning: Do bills, work on Spirited’s party; make most unpleasant phone call on Thursday.
    Spirited!: therapy and connect when I get home.

  3. I'm still at the 'winging it' stage of the academic year. Waiting for project students to settle into things, for a few essential appointments to be made, just the stuff that will let me know I can get settled into a new routine. Then I can start working out what's possible and hopefully find the self-discipline to stick to it! I'm enjoying reading your thoughts on the matter - hoping for some inspiration.

    Last Week
    1. use scary and house research tools to get some more data - done, hopefully the final data set for scary project so the analysis and write-up can begin.
    2. refine teaching plans for academic year and work out what might be doable and what is impossible - done upto the point where uncertainty takes hold and/or I get tired of thinking about it all
    3. sort diary out as best I can and start declining things - done, several saying no emails written but can't quite face sending them yet.

    This week:
    1. finish talk for seminar, give talk
    2. find and read through paperwork for meeting
    3. prepare and deliver 3 hours of lectures
    4. continue prep and planning

    1. I love that you succeeded in declining things!

  4. One of the things I really dislike about team teaching is the lack of rhythm. I rarely have more than 2-3 weeks in a row with the same class pattern, or even with the same day off. I very very rarely reteach a module in the same format/with the same team/with the same class pattern. The STUDENTS have a pretty stable pattern (e.g. lectures every Monday and Wednesday, lab class every second Thursday at either 11 or 2 depending on your section), but the staff teaching in those slots change around. I don't thrive in tight structures, but as someone who is not very good at structure in anything, some kind of external rhythm is quite helpful. I think that's one reason I like the academic year, the connection with the old seasonal and ritual cycles that lingers in most UK and US academic calendars, the familiarity of it.

    I'm just scrambling at the moment, without structure, behind and in chaos and resenting everything, and I brought back a cold but left my wireless mouse at the residential trip, so have been extra grumpy all day trying to do VLE stuff with a trackpad (I hate them, they make my fingers hurt, and make everything take that little bit longer).

    Last week's goals: well, I DID survive, and we brought back all the students alive, despite many incidents of varying degrees of severity, and we also tried to teach them some stuff. And kept them busy enough that very few had the energy for the 20 minute hike across the fields to the village pub after the evening session, which was a win (there was a bar at the centre which sold beer, wine or cider at not-excessive prices, and free tea, coffee or squash at any time of the day or night available from kitchenettes in each building, plus some students had packed their own, so there was drinking of alcohol, but they're adults and at 18 they're all UK legal, so why not... just better to keep them on the premises after dark, and minimise contact with local youngsters/dodgy locations/walking back on unlit country roads whilst a little tipsy). Some of my colleagues were absolutely stellar, some were something of a pain, but they all did a decent job with the students. I didn't shout at anyone, but I did get a bit snappish and short at some times, especially when I was being bombarded with questions in the breakfast queue without even a cup of tea to sustain me! But we'll call it an overall win, I think.

    This week: today and tomorrow are a scramble, I have counselling tomorrow afternoon which could be difficult (my reactions to both my colleague's death and one incident during the residential are neatly locked away at the moment, and they might get out and not want to go back). Wednesday is all meetings (including the first official meeting of the new organisational structure), and some mad preparation for the following week, then Thursday is my day off/deal with very neglected research matters day, and Friday is a day-long practical. Weekend working looms again.

    1) get enough sleep, eat 5 fruit/veg a day, take Echinacea for cold
    2) at least make a list of all the research stuff and deadlines and the like, so I can send emails with realistic "I can deliver for... date x" type contents
    3) act deliberately, take a breath when I task transition, be kind to myself and think the best of people (especially people being drama-llamas about their own colds and teaching loads)

    1. So glad to hear that, overall, the residential experience was a win. Good luck with the upcoming scramble.

    2. To echo GEW, hope all goes well with the scramble, especially your goal three. I have a colleague (I love the term drama-llama) who has three times the support staff as I and who moans constantly about her work load. I have taken to responding with archaic terms like "Piffle."

    3. Glad you survived the week away: having dealt with residential events for many years, I know how stressful they can be. And before breakfast should be off limits for work questions!

      Good luck with the week ahead -- and I'll be interested in the task transition, because that's the challenge for me.

    4. Glad you survived! (And as adults, students should already know that before breakfast is not social time).

      I like the stepping back to consider realistic time goals - it's both a relief for yourself and others to actually state these out loud.

  5. After finishing Ungloomy late and being way under the expected word count, I needed another two days to show up in class without a trail of late papers and assignments streaming behind me. So I didn’t make it to TLQ last week but seem to have arrived at a more settled place for the time being.

    I appreciate the topic this week, especially after I’ve had the weekend to see where I am and get a sense of the rhythm I want to have. I have a heavy teaching day at the beginning of the week this semester, and it’s taken me awhile to remember that as an introvert, it’s hard work to be “on” all day. So more rest and less guilt to recover from that.

    From Week 3
    1 Ungloomy is due in a week so I expect that will occupy most of my time: yep.
    2 FInish book one for book review: no.
    3 Final read through for rpb chapter 5: no.

    The last of the things I thought would be good projects post-rpb is due next weekend. With that completed, I can submit the manuscript and finish the book reviews. I have no other project commitments ahead of me, and I am grateful.

    So for this week, I just want to do a good job with Last Remaining Project and not pressure myself to do anything more.

    Wishes for a peaceful week ahead.

    1. Good luck with your week of not pressuring yourself. I've been trying to delineate what pressure I'm putting on myself, and what actually comes from work.

  6. Well, I'm beginning to suspect that this is going to be one of those semesters where there are very few "routine" weeks. In fact, I suspect that's true most semesters, which leads to frustration when I anticipate a more regular routine (and thus some freedom from thinking about when I'll do certain things, because I know I'll get to that on Weds. afternoons, or whatever; like others who've commented above, I strive to find a balance between structure and flexibility, and one of the major reasons I like/seek structure/habit is to put certain things on autopilot, so they get done without my having to think too much about them). So I think I need to work on structure more at the daily level, especially when it comes to getting into a more regular sleep/wake cycle (an endeavor that is a bit harder this semester because my office hours and classes are both mid-day, so I'm not forced to get up and out as early as I often am. Of course, with only two on-campus days a week, I'm not entirely forced to do that anyway.) Beyond that, I'm trying to use the afternoons of days that I teach to run errands or work in the garden plot, because getting myself out of the house if I don't have to go out is difficult. All too often, however, I've been staying way too late on campus working instead (a pattern that was further encouraged by the fact that my home internet connection was very slow for a while. At least that seems to have improved).

    So, one goal for the week will be keep to an earlier, more regular bedtime schedule (starting tomorrow, because I stayed up tonight to listen to the presidential debate, because the ongoing train wreck is hard to ignore).

    Last week's goals:
    --get some work done in the garden
    --visit the farmer's market

    Achieved: yes on the garden, no on the farmer's market

    Coming week's goals:

    --establish bedtime routine (shower; reading; bed by 9:00/9:30 most nights)
    --continue work in garden
    --cook dinner at home at least 2-3x
    --catch up on Bible reading
    --start reading for end-of-Oct. professional workshop/seminar
    --grant project follow up (email, budget distribution)
    --catch up with brother; contact at least one other friend or family member to catch up

    1. I stayed up way too late last night to watch (and then calm down from) the debate, so I completely hear you on the bedtime routine. And on it being hard to turn away from the train wreck.

      I like the well-rounded nature of your goals--I need to do much the same.

    2. One of the good things about living on the west coast is that I don't have to stay up late to watch the debates, but I've become obsessed with the train wreck. (following on twitter, with my favorite being Womenalsoknowstuff (@womenalsoknow). 30 more days.
      Otherwise, I think changing academic schedules make developing rhythms to our work so hard.

  7. I am definitely having a hard time finding a rhythm after submitting the thesis. I've had a lot to catch up with, and I've had to make such a huge attention shift both at home and at work. I've been blowing off multitasking and my health and other people for a couple of months, and now I find that I really just want to lie on the couch reading interesting books unrelated to the thesis while my family member laze nearby. But instead I need to get back to exercising, grading papers, tending to the house and kids' needs and activities, etc. Although working on the thesis (esp. towards the end) was very demanding, there was certainly something simple about that kind of deep-focus and single-mindedness. It's difficult getting back into the everyday world, especially when expectations are ramped up (at work at least) that now I can be a "go-to" person again. Those colleagues who knew I was submitting at the end of September seemed to pounce on me October 1st. Welcome back to ALL OF THE COMMITTEES! Here! Catch up!

    Also, I know that at some point this semester I likely will have to travel to the UK, but I don't know when. This trip will involve leaving my classes and family for a week. This knowledge / lack-of-knowledge combination makes it difficult to claim a rhythm.

    I think that this semester is one of those times when I just have to pay attention to what I do and not worry about how I'm doing it. A kind of record-keeping or baseline (as one does before setting a budget). And I just need to recover and spend some time looking around at the world as I come out of my thesis cave.

    Last week:
    I have not graded very many of the 120+ essays that I received last week, and have only done a small bit of my service stuff, but I've been doing a lot of ready prep (which is more fun), and I got some TLQ stuff done.

    Health: Exercise 3x.--> 2x.
    Home: Bills, security things.-->DONE.
    Research: Order the ILL things. Read one thing.-->DONE.
    Family: Take daughter shopping for pants; do Halloween shopping, costume prep, and party prep with kids. Help son get started on Code Academy.-->SOMEWHAT. Yes on the pants. Some costume work. Also spend all day Saturday enjoying the kids and spent most of today with them, so that was a win.

    Goals for this week:
    Health: Exercise 3x. Make at least one overdue unpleasant doctor's appt. for myself. Making an appointment is SO hard. :(
    Home: Follow up about that dentist bill.
    Research: Read one thing. Review submission requirements for article.
    Family: Complete ~80% of Halloween party shopping and prep, including costume stuff. Order costume stuff for son. Get son started on Code Academy.

    1. I should set another goal of spending VERY LITTLE TIME reading news about Donald Trump.

    2. I'm with you on that. I fear I may not have any sense of rhythm again until the election is over - I spent way too much time this weekend just glued to the news.

    3. I was glued to the news as well, and spent far too much time and angst over it. Even though I wanted to turn it off, I was morbidly fascinated.

    4. There are 30 more days. But until then, it is so easy to get obsessed with twitter & fb...

  8. This topic is timely. I have lost my rhythm completely. There are a few reasons for this: when I work at home, I am riveted to the political coverage; the political coverage has raised my anxiety significantly; and my anxiety is already pretty high due to not knowing about whether I am moving to NYC with world's best postdoc mentor. I've been pretty down on myself for my lower productivity of late - and my huge issues with working from home lately as well (because - news!). But I'm hoping that realizing the above (and giving myself a little break given that my whole life is up in the air) may help. I think part of it too is a lack of deadlines - which I realized is a big part of why we are all together here! Finally, world's best mentor is relying on me more and more to help her with things, which is really good - but I tend to always put those tasks before my own work. I also have 5 manuscripts in various stages of being "in progress" - which might be a bit overwhelming.

    Last week's goals:
    1. That stupid analytic plan - eh, it'll happen tomorrow (literally)
    2. Survive mock review of my NIH grant this week - DONE
    3. After mock review, figure out my game plan - DONE
    4. Work on CSA paper ideas - DONE
    5. Work on ideas for SU grant. - DONE

    This week:
    1. Re-analyses for religion paper
    2. Work on NSF grant
    3. Work on intersections paper
    4. Stupid analytic plan*

    *I am dragging my heels on this bc my diss mentor wants me to make an analytic plan for an undergrad dataset - beginning with how to do all the descriptives. I'm trying to convince myself that she is trying to train me to be methodical, and that is good - but overall, I am frustrated as this is a dataset I mentored a PhD student on last semester, and all the data is already analyzed and it feels like diss mentor doesn't trust my analytic skills - despite the fact that her fave mentee has double checked my work on multiple projects, and I am always correct. It's just really hard working with a mentor who seems to completely lack trust in/value your work.

    1. I think momentum is very difficult when everything is so unsettled, but I also find some comfort in the work, although that could because I see my scholarship as the remaining part that is me and my interests.

      That said, I would find 5 manuscripts overwhelming, and the actions of the diss mentor disheartening. Add to that the toilet bowl swirl of US politics at the moment, and I think your dragging your heels is understandable, and probably a form of self-care.

      But, you know, when I look at your list, there are a lot of DONEs, so perhaps you are expecting too much of yourself?

  9. What a great topic! I've been realizing that one of my challenges this semester is that because of my role in the faculty senate, I have no regular schedule. If someone wants me at a meeting, it gets scheduled. And I'm terrible at transitions. So, when I have a short time, it's tempting to get wrapped up in twitter and fb, following the awful US election, with side trips to the Brexit debacle. (And I've given my students a twitter assignment, which means I have to check twitter.) One key to this is planning: today I realized I had 2 1/2 hours between meetings, so I PLANNED (thanks Earnest English) to work on a book review. My hunch is that the two keys to this is that the task be manageable, and I plan what I can do.

    Last week's goals:
    1. Finish book review FINALLY
    3. Two chapters of footnote checking NO
    4. Walk twice YES

    Analysis -- I had meetings on campus every day last week, and a couple of pretty intense conversations with my mother. To get going on a task, I need enough time to get into it -- then I can often work on it in bits. Also, I caught up with some of my, and my mother's, financial stuff, which is a great relief.

    This week: I'm heading to a conference with pre-circulated papers this weekend. I'll need to read the papers, so most other things will be sidelined.

    1. Print out and read papers
    2. Walk/ other exercise 2 x.
    3. Read for pleasure on my trip home from conference.

    1. I find most meetings so draining that it's hard to get back to proper work afterward. It does depend on the type. If it's possible to get outside and do a sort of walking meditation, even for ten minutes---basically just moving and focusing on trees and other growing things---it helps a lot with re-setting. But one has to be mindful enough to think to go and be mindful, as well as having the time to do it. At a desk, it's so easy just to do something online.

    2. Last year, I noticed that when I was coming off of sabbatical, I was much better at transitions. I was able to be mindful and productive as I shifted gears. But now that I'm back in the thick of things, I notice that shifting gears is difficult again. It's as if I'm momentarily confused or paralyzed and FB or Twitter moves my brain into a different space from which I can shift gears. But, of course, I typically linger in that space for way too long, and there are much better ways to make the shift.

      I hope the conference goes well and that the papers are interesting!

  10. Okay, so my rhythm at the moment seems to be twice a week 3 hour trip to major city, meeting, 3 hour drive back. I either need to change this or find a teleportation device :(

    I posted this topic because I do like having some autopilot the carry my through my days, but have let things slip and moved into crisis/burn-out/crisis/burn-out alternating mode. So when I do have pockets of time for TLQ I'm flopping mindlessly through them. I want to focus on two sets of rhythms - a daily one for the beginning and end of the day, and a work one that recognises each day will need a separate pattern, but that mostly that pattern can repeat week to week. I'll wait till next year to panic about the modular team-teaching that, like JaneB's new curriculum, will be chaotic from the staff viewpoint even if patterned for students.

    Last week:
    1. Make visible progress in the garden.
    Yes - in between bad weather. Can the rain please just stop already?

    2. Value sleep
    So failed on this one.

    This week (including another road trip): Theme - Attend to Now
    1. Clean up bedtime transitions - electronics curfew, choose one intentional activity (sewing/knitting/music practice/yoga) for each night.
    2. Read and note 2 x articles.
    3. Use sit/stand desk transitions to cue stretching.

    1. Predictability makes so much difference. I like your idea of focusing on the beginning and end of the day, though.

  11. A late entry, due to some now-resolved health concerns. Apologies!

    Topic: How do you find ways to set and maintain a pattern, routine or rhythm that works for you?
    My best success comes when I have blocked out time when I am naturally more productive. Left to my own schedule, I tend to have two or three short sleep cycles in a 24 hour day. It does not mesh well with the 8-5 job, but has the benefit of changing up when my more productive times occur.

    Another good habit is to have Plan A, if all goes well and I feel very productive, and Plan B for the times when I need something that occupies fewer brain cells. Proofreading or line editing is good for that, versus content editing or writing new words.

    Life does like to interfere, but I am learning to say no to most requests to free up that time. Right now my biggest struggle is insomnia and the resultant stressed mind/exhausted carcass that I have to negotiate. It becomes a vicious cycle, in that I am too tired to exercise, which then makes me feel worse, and so on. I have some success at forcing myself to do something when it benefits someone else, like walking the dog, rather than merely benefiting me.

    Last week’s goals:
    Continue physical therapy exercises x 14 Reasonably well 12x
    Improve eating habits, avoiding bad things x 7 Again, reasonable progress x5
    Walk x 7 Yes!
    Yoga x 1 No
    Plan vignettes with my sister Yes!
    Prudence x 5 Yes
    Pierpont x 3 Yes

    Lots of insomnia lately. I’ve had three hours of sleep in the last forty-eight, and am beyond the punchy stage and at full crankiness.

    Next week’s goals:
    Continue physical therapy exercises x 14
    Improve eating habits, avoiding bad things x 10
    Walk x 7
    Yoga x 2
    Outline vignettes
    Prudence x 5
    Pierpont x 5

    Have a lovely rest of the week!

    1. Good luck on the sleep front. I can't even imagine that little sleep. After one night, I'm pretty wrecked; after 2, I'd hardly be standing.

    2. Me either. Or me too. After two, I'd definitely cancel everything.

  12. allan wilson
    1. Exercise 4x.YES
    2. Reduce eating from boredom and frustration WELL< I HAVE JUST EATEN A PACKET OF PINEAPPLE LUMPS< SO MAYBE NOT
    3. Sort out all data for next TLQ paper- let me call it WMorph - first, by doing some measurements, then checking data spreadsheets.YES to the measurements, and SOME to checking spreadsheets.

    My rhythm is elsewhere currently, although at least I am still exercising (thank you family and friends). Same time same place helps me get rhythm when I am stuck. I have been travelling a lot, which throws me off and gets me angsty. Going to bed (at about the same time) and getting enough sleep helps, as does not being bombarded with Other People's Stuff. So, I am setting easy goals this week while I deal with crap.
    Next week:
    1) complete draft of new manuscript K.
    2) Exercise 4x (my pleasure goal)
    3) Work out how to deal with some burnout stuff. Think about how I can challenge workplace isolation.

  13. Rhythm... I had one... It went down the drain (actually up the drain) with the giant storm this week and is now floating in the puddle that is my basement. It is not too bad, way better than most of the town here, but still just enough to be an insurance issue and take days to clean... So that's where I'm at. Related: sump pumps and carpet cleaners are awesome yet underrated devices!

    Not even going to comment on last week's goals, I will let the fact that they are repeated verbatim for this week speak for itself :)

    1) Introduction, Literature review and previous work section for Paper 1
    2) Data organization for Paper 1
    3) Conference talk, and fully written out discussion for the topic to put into paper later

    Hope nobody else got flooded!

    1. I am so sorry. Not recently, but we have had basement floods. Ours is unfinished, so clean-up is relatively simple, but one of the tasks I keep not getting to is sorting through boxes that got wet last time. We rescued the most obviously important things and most of what I find can just be tossed, but still, yuck. It sounds like you have good reason to be off your stride. Good luck with it all.

    2. Nature does kind of take over in these situations. I learned this when we had a tornado. Good luck - and glad it wasn't worse.