About 11 am this morning I made sure no one needed me around the office/lab, and I made my escape with my laptop. I’m swamped, and I find I am sitting in my office just putting out one fire after another lately. It is not very satisfying to get to 5 p.m. and not have even started the tasks on my ‘to do’ list. When it takes me 3 days to answer simple emails that really only require a yes or no answer, then I know I’m in trouble ( like … will you do a grant review… or can you review this paper… and on and on… ). I said no to a paper review for the first time that I can remember in like, well, forever probably.
And never mind about the tasks I am dragging myself to do- I need time to do the ones I really want to get accomplished. A paper came in my google reader yesterday, directly relevant to what one of my students is doing right now, and I’ve had it in my hand for 24 hours without having had a chance to get past the abstract. I have two unfinished manuscripts that I want out before the end of this year… Ironically my most productive day this week was Monday- Labor Day- when my little corner of the institution had a holiday, but the public schools were open. I sat at my desk from 9 to 9, and at the end really felt like stuff got done.
I rely on having the evening hours a couple of days a week to have some quiet time in my office, where I can concentrate to wipe the big stuff off my list. Maybe it is just that it is the beginning of the semester, or my kids aren’t quite settled in school yet and we don’t have the new routine established, or that I’ve just been tired in the evenings lately- but I’m missing that quiet time.
I’m thinking I just have to turn my email off during the day. Like right now maybe. And, you know, hold off on the blogging…. like right now maybe. 🙂