So! In an effort to turn things around and not find myself facing dinnertime with no earthly idea of what has happened to the day, I am going to write a list. A public, boring list, right on this here blog.
Okay. Here's what I would like to accomplish today:
- Reread my new, possibly terrible article, and make a set of revisions/notes for further work.
- Practice yoga.
- Eat lunch. (Yes, this gets an entry.)
- Pay a couple of bills.
- Sort through the papers on my desk and decide which can be thrown away.
- Reconcile the differing versions of comp-related documents that I have on my work and home computers. (Should be easy, since I already copied everything from my work computer onto a flash drive, and I'm pretty sure that the work computer versions are almost uniformly later than the home computer drafts.)
- Sketch out another day or two's readings for the one-credit seminar.
- Finish the mediocre novel I've been reading for the past three weeks, for the love of God.
- Select a scholarly book to start reading, and start reading it--even just a couple of pages.
I guess the problem is--research-wise; let's ignore course prep--that I've basically accomplished my summer goals. Yeah, a big problem, I know! But instead of feeling liberated from them, I feel that I should still be working. The article is definitely not finished finished, and while my goal was just to produce a draft over the summer, I should also revise it as much as I can before school starts. (And yet, I don't wanna!) It seems that I'm still in academic-work mode, but without a clear direction in which to channel that energy, and without having kicked the habits of procrastination that accompany all such work.
Maybe I need some wholly other kind of goal for the day. Hm. Here's an experiment: I propose the following alternate to-do list (some overlap is inevitable), which contains a lot less work and a bit more activity:
- Practice yoga.
- Eat lunch.
- Finish reading mediocre novel.
- Organize filing cabinet, which is still a mess from the move.
- Clear off random piles of paper from desk.
- Reorganize books that found their way into odd places--linen closet, stack on the floor by the bed, inside cabinet. Figure out which books would do better in my office, and put them in a pile.
- Glance through closet to note gaps, etc. Sort out a few items for donation.
- Pay bills.
- Make granola.
- Mail silly thing to brother.
- Write in diary.
(If there's one thing I learned teaching comp last year--and I think that there may be only one thing!--it's that everybody loves contests. Even when those contests are for 0 stakes. Pit the students against each other, and all of a sudden things like the proper formatting of journal article citations becomes riveting. So, although I have no competitors, perhaps it'll work for me, too. --That and the extra cup of coffee I just drank. Go go go!)
ETA: Putting the same items onto two different lists *really* makes a body feel more productive. Hurrah!
ETA2: The verdict is in: List 1 wins by a single item! Um...yay?