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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Some Ways to be Productive

1. Put your own work first. Write the monograph and half of the second one before you even think about doing the edited collection.

2. Prioritize the large project over small ones, and small ones over insignificant ones. So be working on the major project at all times, not peripheral ones. Articles take precedence over book reviews. Articles that put forward your main research agenda take precedence over those that don't.

3. Don't wait until you have large blocks of time to resume work on your major project. Since you only need 1-3 hours a day for writing, and it is actually harder to find those hours when you don't have other structure in your life, you are likely to do better if you already have the rhythm of work established before that summer break or sabbatical.


Leslie said...

This is good advice and also it is a good exercise to take it in reverse: analyze what you are doing now, and you will see what your de facto major project is.

I remember when it was my research projects, well prioritized, and when the reverse analysis started to reveal that my actual research priorities were not my official ones. Now the reverse analysis reveals that my main projects involve program building, institutional grant making, strategic planning, general activism in defense of universities, curriculum reform, things like that. They are in fact what I wake up thinking about, and what I think about when I walk. This is quite frightening.

Jonathan said...

Those are worthy activities. So if those are you priorities, actually, then go for it.