I know when I focus, I work very hard and get a lot done. It’s the getting focused that is the challenge. I can knock this PhD off in a timely manner, but it won’t happen if I faff about too much. My plan for this year is to knuckle down and do it. Yesterday was the first clear day I had with the disruptive work of preparing my rental property for reletting, and letting it, all behind me. I had a list, as usual, and ticked two of three things off it. The big one was proofing my policy article for final submission. That took longer than I had thought, but it is all completed now and it won’t be long before I can be posting a version on academia.edu and the uni repository, and sharing like crazy. I continued transcribing my final research interview, and plan to finish that today. The task that didn’t get ticked off was processing emails. I send myself emails with links to things to put in my Endnote library. Keeping up with these is a challenge, and I have a folder in my inbox of ‘to follow up not urgent’ for ones from last year. Getting to inbox zero at the end of last year was a good feeling, and I will aim for keeping it under control this year. I have been using the personal kanban time management system, and like the way it allows a visual record of what there is to do, as well as a satisfactory cluster of post-it notes showing what has been done. I’ve set up ‘emails x 10’ as to do items, and will chunk the task that way.
All the house renovating and general summer holiday activity and routine disruption disrupted my usual conscientious exercise routine. Painting and cleaning is tiring work, but I don’t think it qualifies as exercise, because you don’t get your heart rate up enough. My body has been saying ‘take me swimming’ but I’ve been putting it off because of the hot weather and distaste about the number of bodies in the pool, especially small, incontinent children. One of the ways I want to get my approach to this year settled is to have an exercise routine, which includes swimming. School went back today, so no excuse there. I lay in bed and thought of reasons why I shouldn’t have a swim. Lack of discipline was the only one.
If I was going to start the year on a positive note and begin the way I plan to continue, with both exercise and study, then to defer swimming was a very bad choice. How can I finish a PhD if I can’t even go swimming? I went swimming. The small, spherical turd rolling around on the bottom of the pool was a reminder that it has been a long, hot summer, but I used a snorkel and mask and avoided water in my mouth, nose and eyes. Not turning my head to breathe keeps the water out of my ears to a large extent too. I did 20 laps, which is one kilometre. I will go again. I have to, I bought a 10 session pass.