In conjunction with my personal blog, I’m posting about my summer work schedule. This entry focuses on the “Working” aspect of being a professor who is also a mother (i.e., a MoFessor).
Academics know that the summer is supposed to be our most productive working time, even though many of us are not paid for it. Because my children have been young, they have usually been in daycare during the summer. Some academics take their children out of daycare during the summer, but with young children, I haven’t seen how that is possible. Because our youngest (i.e., the twinnies) are starting kindergarten this fall and, thus, we don’t need to hold their daycare spots, and because it saves us $4800 tax free, we’ve pulled them from daycare.
But, um, I’m still supposed to be working.
Anticipating this schedule last spring and also teaching a grad course on how to write well and be productive, I started a “Rise at 5″ schedule for my research. When a GREAT DEAL of the research and personal accounts of being a productive writer converge on daily devoted time for writing, usually first thing in the morning, I think we ought to pay attention to it as a valid data point.
And honestly, it works out very well for me, too, I decide before I go to bed what my primary task will be. And on my best mornings, I roll out of bed and even before I have my first cup of coffee, I start working.
I wish I’d figured this out years ago. I am truly getting more work done now than I ever have in my life. And I like it. It’s fun to get the hardest part of the day out of the way first thing. Writing is still hard. And there is still all that self-doubt associated with it. But it’s so rewarding to start to tick off tasks and projects.
There is one problem. The reason I wasn’t writing first thing in the morning before is that I was running. It was great and it ensured that I exercised every day. Now, I’m prioritizing writing first thing in the morning. But I still need to exercise. Health is on the same level as work productivity in a fulfilled life.
Once I figure that out, I’ll let you know.