In the fall semester, I taught my first class as an adjunct at American University. It was a fun (albeit stressful and time-consuming) experience, and I now know more about computer networks than I did before going into the class, so that’s cool.
At the end of the semester though, I felt pretty down and unproductive since I didn’t feel like I had done much else and was starting to feel behind on finishing my dissertation. To prevent that from happening this semester, I’m going to keep weekly status reports for myself where I list each day’s accomplishments, and I’ll post these reports here (for myself, mostly). I did this before but sort of let it fall by the wayside when I got busy.
To keep myself on track, I’m also working on a new schedule using the Pomodoro technique of working in 25-minute sprints with 5-minute breaks, in which I focus on a particular task for the entire sprint. Then, I can plan my days by breaking them down into 30-minute chunks. My first sprint every morning then is devoted to planning out the day, prioritizing what I need to get done, and labeling what I want to accomplish each sprint. Each day’s last sprint is then devoted to updating my status report and setting up my plan for the next day.
I keep track of these sprints in a spreadsheet, so I can go back and see how much time I’m working each day and week, so when I feel myself sliding into self-loathing because I feel unproductive, I can review my own work about what I have done and what I still need to do. It works pretty well all last week, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up.