Friday, January 12, 2007

Random thoughts, sabbatical and productivity

* I am a bit behind on some of my goals/tasks that I set out for myself at the start of the month. But, I'm actually not at all concerned, because I'm making good, steady progress on everything, and I'm working consistently every day. So far, so good there.

* Sharing the home office is going remarkably well, although we did have to have a talk today about interruptible vs. uninterruptible time. (I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine who was the boundary-invading culprit here.)

* I'm really liking the schedule---I've fallen into it very easily. There seems to be one day a week where the schedule does not work, but that's fine, because work gets done at some point on those days too.

* Mornings are definitely my most productive time. I can work for longer stretches of time without a break, and I get into the "flow" much more easily. I find it much easier to get distracted after lunch, my periods of productivity are shorter, and I have a harder time getting into the flow.

* One idea I've toyed with is taking afternoons off and working for 2-3 hours in the evening instead, since I'm more productive in the evenings than in the afternoons. I may try this out next month and see how it goes.

* I went to campus for the first time since the start of sabbatical yesterday. Campus days, I'm guessing, will be less productive---like BrightStar, I spent most of yesterday chatting with various colleagues, and maybe an hour on Real Actual Research. I'm sure that won't happen every day, but I do think the chats/lunches/coffees are important, too.

Work is getting done. Projects that haven't seen the light of day for a while are getting attention again. Writing is happening. And I'm more relaxed than I've been in a while. Life on sabbatical is good!


Michael Flessas said...

I mentioned a book on my blog and I should mention it to you Jane. The book is entitled The Professor Game by Dr. Richard Mandell. Everyone on the tenure treadmill should read that book.

skookumchick said...

Wow, so glad everything is going so smashingly! I gotta get me a routine, maybe that would help... I've told Mr. S to read your blog too because he's on leave this semester as well. However, he's been sucked back into departmental business - two searches - although he's coming to WMC this week which will mean leave research, so that's good. Anyway, hope the productivity spate keeps going for you!

Jane said...

Thanks, Michael---I did check out that book (and even manage to read parts of it from time to time!). There's some good stuff in there.

skookumchick, that sucks for Mr. S! I am really lucky---my chair has been uber-protective of my time. But I'm sure if we were doing a search, things would be different. I definitely recommend the routine---the trick is figuring out a routine that actually works for you. Good luck to you!