Motivation: Small Projects, Big Tasks

I used to make excuses for slumps. For instance, if I didn’t want to do work after lunch, I’d say I needed some time to digest my food. And long long ago, I decided to punt (almost) everything after 3:00. But my favorite excuse for laziness is, “I crossed everything off my to do list!” Certainly didn’t do that today, but I feel like I did because this morning was very productive.

So all last week and the week before, when I was trying to finish a draft of chapter five, I was really productive, but it didnt’ feel that way because my to do list wasn’t budging. Chapter Five loomed up there at the top. This week my to do list is full of smaller projects, see?

  • Encyclopedia Entries: Gonzalez and Cabeza de Baca
  • Send reminder emails
  • Mellon Chapter and proposal
  • Write Activist Proposal Assignment
  • Grade WS exams
  • Read Mother Tongue (Again)

So you see, there are many small projects to dispense with and now, when I could be reading, I’m thinking, I’ve got so much time to goof off for a little bit. But deadlines do make for faster work, and after last week, and the pages and pages of progress, I get a little break.

This does remind me of the talk I gave a few weeks ago and reminds me that, for me and probably for you as well, work is cyclical. There are crazy weeks and easier weeks. I do like that for the most part, I get to choose what those weeks are. What’s your week like? Big projects on the horizon? Or lots of little tasks to cross off?

Coming up:

I’m going to a sorority dinner tonight as a professor of a student. Reminds me that L & C was like a big club where profs came and ate in the cafeteria if you invited them.

I’m also going to go for a run with Christine here in an hour. Here’s hoping I can, because while I keep losing weight from the breastfeeding, I’m not in great shape.

And next week, Seamus will see all three of his grandmothers within 24 hours. Yes, we will have visitors. He won’t know the difference, but it may not happen again for a while!


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