I’ve been pretty disappointed in my productivity since my return from fieldwork in late June.
Part of this is because I’m juggling quite a few little projects these days from working on The Digital Press to wrapping up some longer term writing projects to working on data from Pyla-Koutsopetria and finishing an already-accepted article.
Part of this is because I’m starting to feel my age and simply do not have the ability to just hammer through projects like I once did. I need to be a bit more precious with my downtime and back off when I feel like pressing through a project is no longer productive.
Part of it may be because I’m in a rut.
As the start of the semester looms, I’m beginning to think about how I can change up my routine to get a bit more productivity back into my days and weeks. I was particularly inspired by Kate Ellenberger’s post “Intentional and Consistent Writing is Hard.” I will be the first to admit that I’ve never been very consistent in my writing, but I’ve tried to be intentional (or at least deliberate) in my daily and weekly work rhythms.
For the last decade, I’ve broken my day into working blocks: (1) blogging, (2) emails, (3) morning writing, <lunch>, (4) afternoon writing, (5) late afternoon reading. Teaching and meetings can swap into any block when necessary. For example, when I teach an afternoon class, it takes the place of (4) afternoon writing and preparing for my night class takes the spot of (5) late afternoon reading. Grading often occupies (3) morning writing.
The challenge facing me now is that this routine feels pretty stale. I need to think about Kate’s post and figure out some ways to adjust my schedule so that I can find a new groove.