(Plural only because I survived …)
We are officially three weeks into the Fall semester. The first week was a teaser for me because I only had one class and none of my research meetings. The second week started out just fine, especially with the Labor Day holiday on Monday. Wednesday of the second week, however, proved to be the game-changer. Despite my best efforts to spread semester obligations evenly throughout the week, all of my high-stress meetings got crammed into Wednesday. By the end of the day, I was not only exhausted, I was utterly drained. Thursday was a productivity-waste, and by Friday, I got sick. (I also suspect I had my first-ever migraine, but that’s a story for another day.) This Monday will mark the beginning of the third week.
Clearly, something has to change. I would love to hole up in my apartment or in an inspiring café until I finish writing this dissertation, but that’s not very realistic. I still have classes to take, meetings to attend, and other campus-based responsibilities to uphold. Wednesdays aren’t going to change either because the day’s schedule was painstakingly crafted around many other people’s schedules. What to do?
My current solution is to treat Thursday and Friday as the “weekend” in terms of little-to-no productivity and to treat Saturday through Wednesday as my work week. Of course, I wish all seven days were productive, but I’ll take what I can get. I will try out this schedule for the next few weeks and report the results here. In the meantime, I would be interested in hearing from all of you. Aside from the basics of sleep, nutrition, and exercise, how do you make your work week as productive as possible? What creative methods have you picked up along the way?