Tuesday, December 9, 2008


The term is over, my grades are done, and now is the time to get to all those things that were shoved onto the back burner, or just planned for post-term in the first place. I'm supposed to be writing, and collaborating, and preparing! Right!?

In theory. Except that I'm having a serious post-term slump in which I find it difficult to do anything more exciting than websurf or exercise - the latter takes a decent amount of willpower, but I've managed to keep it up. At least I'm doing that much, I guess...I'm also turning into an insomniac again, which is not good. I have some research meetings set up for later this week -- I'm hoping that by then I can get my butt to my office by 9 am.

Today I pulled out a syllabus for next term, and made some progress. But what I should be doing is slogging through the tome sitting next to my computer, which will tell me all the secrets of Method X prior to my meeting with Method X Expert on Friday. But am I reading it? No. At this rate I'm going to walk in there as unprepared as any undergraduate he's had, even though he's been nice enough to offer his services in Method X to a first-year ass. prof. I'm such a jerk (ass!).

This might be my downfall - barring serious deadlines I've always worked in spurts, with several weeks of really good productivity followed by a period of minimum motivation. But it always evened out, since I could work at my own pace once I was ABD. Now I can't ride out the sluggish periods, and it's no fun.

How do you beat the slump?


EcoGeoFemme said...

I can relate. I try to start with easy work to get myself going for the harder stuff. I also sometimes set a timer to force myself to work on a particular task for 20 min or 1 hour or whatever. That sometimes helps me focus.

T said...

I know you don't have the time to just ride it out, but what you're going through sounds to me completely normal - everyone needs some downtime after they finish a big project (like the term).

Incentives always work for me. For me it's shopping, but what about if you withheld something like exercising until you met your goals? Just make sure those goals are manageable - if your goal is to get 6hrs of solid work done a day, well, that's less realistic than 1-2 hours of good, solid work.

Liberal Arts Lady said...

I like the timer idea. I might have to try that. And T you're right, I should probably try for one hour at a time instead of staring down an entire day and feeling overwhelmed, as I've been doing. Though I worry that denying myself something that at this point is hard to keep doing is probably not going to work...though that definitely would be an idea if I was just procrastinating instead of feeling sluggish.

Today's another day...right? ;)