Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Don't make me break out the colored pens!
Ah, procrastination. My greatest skill and most dangerous vice all in one. Tonight I am avoiding class prep, and many other things, by planning out the rest of the entire year, with color coding and bullet points. Ahhhhh. Yes, I am quite the obsessive-compulsive. Now give me back my multicolored pens!
Here's hoping that planning out the major writing projects I have to tackle this summer and fall (including another stab at the job market) will help me stay organized and keep focused on productivity. I love organizing, not staying organized. It's like how cleaning a really filthy kitchen floor can provide more satisfaction, because it is more visually apparent, than merely keeping on top of the task with regular touch-ups. Not that I know anything about that, ahem. The problem is that before you have the makeover, whether fashion-wise, organizationally, or academically, you have to be in the crapper first. Otherwise it's not a makeover.
Anyway, I periodically have to rededicate myself to whatever project I'm working on, usually with shiny new pens or notebooks or other organizing utensils, but sometimes with the purchase of "writing music" specifically for that project. I find that I am very easily distracted and flighty as an academic, with little patience or perseverance for long projects. On the other hand, I did finish a dissertation, which various studies show only about 50% of all grad students do, so I must have some sort of adaptive mechanisms.
I think that a major strategy I have used is that I am very easily amused and can live in a delusional fantasy world quite easily, which means as long as I treat my projects as a game of some sort, and change up the games frequently, I can chug along, like the little engine that could, alternating between progress and boredom. (Hence the implementation of MMAP 2009.)
I'm currently toying with ways of amusing myself/competing with myself/fooling myself to keep me engaged and writing on my stuff throughout the last of spring and into summer. (If you have any suggestions, please add them here) and may test-drive them on the blog in the future. Or I may just give up on academia and get a job at an Officemax store. Here, have another look at those colored pens!
Mmm, colors! I don't waste the good shit on my student papers, either ---- they can suffer comments in the color of the lead pencils I stole from the library. I save the quality material for myself.