The most difficult thing about the third year of graduate school is trying to transition into the more adult work schedule required to write a dissertation.  My work habits during the coursework phase of the program were chaotic but somehow focused.  Work was more focused because all I had to do was look at the syllabus to see what I needed to be doing.  It was chaotic because it didn’t matter when I got the work done as long as I did it.  (Actually it probably did matter but I was too comfortable extending my lazy college schedule for as long as I could to do anything about it.)  Now things have reversed:  my work has less focus because there are so many ways to “start” a dissertation but I’m no longer satisfied with the college habits that I’ve had since I was 18.  You know the ones:  late to bed, late to rise, late to eat, late to work.

I need to change these habits for several reasons:  I’ll be more productive; I’ll be happier; I’ll have more free time that’s not spent in bed.  But more urgently, I’m about to leave the US for a year and a half of archival research and, while that’s a long time, it’s not so much time that I can afford to roll into the archives at 1 PM each day.  There are three parts to this problem:  I go to bed too late; I wake up too late; I take too long to get out of the house in the morning/afternoon.  I think actually I’m going to tackle the last problem first because it doesn’t matter how early I get out of bed if it takes me three-plus hours to leave the house (sadly I’m not even kidding).  So this week the goal is to get out of the house within an hour and a half on weekdays.


3 Responses to “transitioning”

  1. I’m sure you can shave more time off of your leaving the house – what do you have to do to get ready?

  2. 2 thefrogprincess

    Sadly, the delay has absolutely nothing to do with actually getting ready. It’s more about feeling ready and alert enough to leave the house…which I guess actually has more to do with how I sleep than with what happens in the morning. So basically there’s a lot of time sitting around watching tv before I feel like I’m ready to get going with my day. So actually my problem is more psychological, I think.

  3. Ahh I have this problem too. I think you might have to address your sleep patterns in tandem with this (in order to deal with alertness), but you can also make a pact with yourself that you will not watch TV, check email, surf the net etc. until you take a shower, have breakfast or whatever your morning routine is. I haven’t managed to do this but I feel your pain! Good luck.

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