Itching to get back to work

I generally feel like I’m overwhelmed with what I need to do and can’t figure out how to proceed. There’s always more tasks on my plate than I feel like I can comfortably handle and I fear that there’s a few balls that I’ve dropped along the way. But, I also feel like most of this is somewhat expected as part of grad school. Just “par for the course.”

However, I also find that the above can lead to periods of time where I just can’t wait to get away from what I’m doing. Where I feel like I desperately need a mental break or vacation. Where I want to be working on anything that’s not what I’m currently working on. Those times I consider taking a year just working at a bookstore or something else “easier.”

But, then I get moments like this. When I get genuinely excited about what I’m doing and where I am. And where I want to proceed. As usual, these often happen when there’s something somewhat impeding my progress (I’ve been at my parents helping out for a few days). But, it’s nice to get that extra ‘hit’ of motivation and start really wanting to just get back to it.

I managed to sneak in a tiny bit of work on Monday and Tuesday (if you look over at my pomodoro graph you’ll see how few), but it’s not the same. Today I’m hoping to channel this motivation into some great productivity. I have a meeting coming up with my supervisor and am hoping to have a mostly completed draft of a paper to show, a much improved demo and some results analyzed. I’m partway through all of those and am running low on time.

Whenever I get these bursts of motivation I feel like I need to leap quickly and hold on as tightly as possible as I never know how fleeting they will be. This semester my pomodoro promise (to myself and to you guys) has been helping out a lot. It’s a lot easier to bug myself to get going when I’m realizing that if I slack off too much it’s going to be displayed for everyone to see. However, the only downside of the pomodoros so far, has been that I may have set my goal to low. I’ve been able to easily and comfortably stay above the road. But, instead of using staying on the road and not falling off as my motivation, I’ve been trying to stay above – still useful, but not as much “risk” in this position. I’m considering re-evaluating how many I should aim for a week (currently 6 a day, Mon-Fri). Should I change my mind, I’ll let you guys know.

For now, I’m going to focus on ploughing through a lot more work by the end of the week. By then, I’m sure I’ll be grateful for the weekend and a break.

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