Hello fair readers! I wish I had tons of fascinating stuff to tell you, but alas. It’s summer. I’ve done my galavanting (for now). I’m in get-to-work mode, which isn’t particularly exciting to talk about. I’m doing my best to put in a few productive hours every day.
I don’t know if anyone else suffers from this problem, but I really struggle with the fact that if it’s not work done at a computer — ie. reviewable at the end of the day –then it probably doesn’t count as work. My views of productivity seem so…I dunno…so old fashioned. They’re so trapped in corporate, 9 to 5 thinking. Creative stuff, after all, also happens in the cracks between the traditionally ‘productive’ moments, right? It happens when you’re with your friends. It happens when you’re out for walks. Do I sound like I’m trying to justify the fact that I’m not working enough? Well, kinda… yeah. But truly, I’m also just trying to get a better grip on what it means to put in a good, solid day of academic work.
Can someone tell me what a productive academic day should look like?
I know that more than a few of us are good a procrastination. But hey- apparently procrastination is productive in its own way. Because every time I turn around lately, I feel like some media outlet or another is trying to tell me that procrastination is good for productivity.
For example, see this? http://www.dumblittleman.com/2010/04/how-procrastination-can-make-you-more.html
Apparently the little ways we waste time through the day give our little, sometimes overloaded brains time to deal with everything.
In fact, according to this article, a professor at the University of Melbourne has found that “workers who use the web for personal chores or entertainment are 9% more productive than those who don’t.” In other words, taking a break to look at a dumb YouTube video, is actually GOOD for your productivity.
(Hilariously, though, if you spend more than 20% of your time on that stuff, your productivity actually goes way way down.)
I think there’s something to be said for the take-time-off-to-get-more-done approach to living. I took a couple of days off on the weekend for a short, spontaneous getaway to Ottawa. I have to say that although I was only there for about 36 hours, I really felt like time stretched out and I really had time to just be. I didn’t feel guilty about not working – I felt inspired and reinvigorated by art I saw at the National Gallery, by friends I visited with, and from generally being in a different space.
Anyway, as I try and push out a little, useful material every day, I’d be grateful to hear what the rest of you think about this. Is a 4 hour academic workday a triumph? Or a failure? Send me your thoughts.
Here, just to liven things up, is a self-portrait from Ottawa. Tomorrow’s a holiday. Take the day off, ok?