Want to be notified when a new article is posted? Entere your email here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Accountability Check

On September 9, I wrote that I'm trying to become more productive in my research. To that end, I planned on:

1) getting up at 5:30 each morning, and
2) Working on research at least 30 minutes each day.

These goals were inspired by the piece I commented on in the September 7th post. In it, I described the work done by one professor on research productivity. He found out that keeping a journal of how much time you spent writing every day AND SHARING IT WITH SOMEONE ELSE resulted in a phenomenal increase in productivity. So, my hope is that if can get my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard every day, everything else will work out just fine.

In addition, just this last Friday, I recommended the same strategy to a student of mine who was having trouble writing her dissertation. She's supposed to report to me on her "journal", so I figured it's only fair that I do the same with her.

But, as I promised, I also have to report to y'all as to how I did. Overall, I'd give myself a C or a C+.

First, on getting up: I still haven't managed to get up by 5:30, but I did get up by 5:50 for 7 of the last ten days. On three mornings, I was up past midnight the night before (one with the Unknown Son, who had a respiratory infection that required an Albuterol inhaler treatment every three hours), and I just couldn't cut it. I'm still a night owl, so it'll take time.

As for the research and writing, I did manage to write at least something on seven of the last ten days, with an average of 2 hours daily on the "writing" days. Of course, some of this was driven by an upcoming conference deadline, but I'll still take it. As my advisor once said, "I may not work well under deadlines, but without them, I often don't work much at all."

A few days, it worked just as I hoped - I got up before 6:00, and got in an hour or so of work before the Unknown Son came down to join me for breakfast. Ya just gotta love it - an hour to myself for writing before anything else gets in the way, followed by some serious male bonding - cereal for him and coffee for me.

Next week, I'll give a more detailed report as to how I did.

No comments: