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Productive (adj)

What does productivity mean to you? Do you measure how many things you crossed off your to-do list by the end of the day? How many hours you spent reading papers? Getting your laundry done? We spend loads of time telling each other how much we've accomplished since waking up or complaining about how hard it was to even get started this morning. Those of us in grad school are getting used to working on projects that span months or even years, and it can be hard to imagine carving reasonable chunks in the short term. That's why I think we take such pride in our mundane chores: a clean load of laundry is a much more tangible accomplishment than being a few paragraphs closer to the end of your paper. These days I even feel proud of myself after an afternoon's photocopying, and based on conversations with those of you further along in the program, my battle with productivity won't be over anytime soon.

That's why I've re-imagined this blog. My own productivity tends to fluctuate according to mood (or whether I have the sniffles) and recently I've found myself unable to break a vicious cycle of not getting anything done and not being motivated to do anything. By recasting my relationship with productivity and the mental space it occupies, I'm hoping to turn things around. So here's my new space, Productive (adj). Among the rest of my postings I'll be devoting space to our experiments in getting things done, what works and what doesn't, and the best ways to reward yourself for a job well done. For starters, feel free to weigh in on how much you think you'll be getting to work (or play) this summer.


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