How many ducks in a row?

I updated my sidebar to include images of books I’m currently reading or have just finished.  I’m really enjoying being able to bring home a bagful of library books without guilt.

Because I’m warped this way, I made myself a big summer chart with the following categories: Book, Family, Household, Starfleet Academy/New RU, Writing Life, and Fun.  I put in tasks that I’m planning to do in blue, and things I’ve accomplished in black.  I feel like I really need to be able to see what I want to get done, and also a record of what I have done so far. 

I think my life is about to be changed by What Now?’s post on John Perry’s “Structured Procrastination” concept.  The only problem is that the book has been occupying the top position on the pyramid for a while now, and the book is really what I want to get done (that is, I want to finish the first draft) this summer.  So obviously I have to find something else to sit on top and convince myself that it’s the big project I need to avoid. 

Edited to add: If you like the Perry essay, you might want to take a look at “Procrastination and Perfectionism” as well.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Okay, this chart of yours is genius, exactly the sort of thing that appeals to me. (Er, I guess I’ve just classified “all things that appeal to me” as “genius.” Perhaps I should check my ego at the door.) Do you do the whole chart in a spreadsheet or in a word document? Do you print it out at regular intervals or let it live solely on the computer? Clearly I’m trying to figure out the logistics so that I can have just such a chart for myself!


  2. Oh, and are there dates on your chart? As in, “I want to have done such-and-such by this or that date”? Or not?

    (I’ve just read aloud to D. your description of your chart, and she immediately said, “You’re jealous, aren’t you?”)


  3. Posted by meansomething on June 18, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Well, I just started, so we’ll see how it works out and exactly how geniusy it is–but here’s what I do. It’s a table in Word, and I’ve only made a week’s worth of it so far, but I could certainly make more weeks and pencil in the things that I know will be taking up time later. It’s seven rows and eight columns (row #1 is dates across the top, column #1 is categories) for one week. Maybe I’ll disguise all the identifying details and put it in the blog for all to see, knowing that at least one person is interested!

    I don’t have deadlines on it yet, but if I expand it I certainly can put those in as well.

    So far, the thing I really like is that I’m sure to give myself “credit” for everything I’m doing. One thing I notice is that I’ve done a lot of Starfleet Academy stuff in the two workdays so far this week.


  4. Posted by FLS on June 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    LOVE the Productive Procrastination concept! I want to spread the word far and wide, except I’m not sure I want anyone to whom I owe a draft to see it.

    Put “Fireworks at FLS’ house” on your chart for July 4.


  5. Posted by EJB on June 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    He’s so right. My apartment is never tidy except when I have a ton of grading hanging over my head. Will have to think about how to make this work for me.


  6. […] took about ten days to begin to get the hang of summer.  My summer chart is showing me that work is getting done, tasks are being accomplished, and fun is being had.  But […]


  7. […] now going to go make one of those big old charts like the one I made last summer, because there actually are a lot of things I have to do over this […]


  8. […] lie ahead.  With great freedom comes great responsibility, and all that.  I’ve made another summer chart to try to stay on track and keep aware of how I’m using my time.  It’s a bummer in a […]


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