segmenting the day

I can’t decide if I’m more or less productive when I have multiple things going on in a day.  On one hand, I might be more focused on the task when I know I only have a two-three hour block to work; on the other, I’m losing chunks of work time when I’m doing other things.

Today’s schedule, for example.  In the morning, I took a shower and worked through emails; with my wonky (non)sleep schedule these days, that took care of what I can legitimately call morning.  I walked (about 30 min) to meet some friends for lunch, then caught a ride back home with them. For the next two and a half hours, I worked with my current data set, mostly organizing and collapsing codes.  Then, I ran out to the farmer’s market before coming back to bake a quiche and pan-fry some zucchini to take to a friend’s for dinner (new baby – need I say more).  We ate and then I stayed to snuggle the new little one while she corralled the other kids into the bathtub and bed.  I got home late enough that I didn’t feel like doing anything requiring great intellect, so I took care of some housekeeping before watching some TV.

Not exactly the most productive day and certainly not a schedule I can maintain during the semester, so maybe my query is moot.  Still, I did manage to make some headway on the data set in those few hours, so I do wonder if my limited time gave me the incentive I needed to focus on it (because this research has become the proverbial albatross swinging from my neck, making it very difficult to want to work on it).  

Anyway.  Something to consider going into the semester, since I’m only going to get busier from here on out.

4 thoughts on “segmenting the day

  1. Servetus says:

    As I leave academia, I’ve had a really hard time abandoning the academic’s definition of productivity, but I’d say (and esp given your mood) you got a lot done today. But looking at the stuff from the academic perspective — if it’s an albatross, maybe small chunks are best for now?

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