Search Results for: productivity

What even IS productivity anyway?

We are still having discourse about who should be productive, who doesn’t need to be productive, how to be productive in the plague times, and it’s all very confusing. While there are some Objectively Bad Takes, there are also just a lot of conflicting views that are mostly confusing because they all assume we know what productivity is and what it looks like… and I’m really not sure we do.

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Does deadline juice give you wings?

“Deadline juice” is a term I just made up when talking to a student the other day, but it’s pretty apt. It describes the eustress response to an upcoming deadline—a healthy (yes short term appropriate stress responses are healthy!) jolt of adrenaline when your energy is up, your focus is up, your speed is up.

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How to unstick your reading list

As I was getting to the end of the recent book, I was buying books at my usual pace but not reading them (as that brainspace was completely taken up with reading my own draft or references for the draft).

Now the book is in and the summer has started, I felt excited to dive into all these books but I also felt stuck. I couldn’t get into gear, let alone find my groove.

So I rummaged around in my toolbox, and came up with this list of techniques. None of them are perfect, but little by little we are turning the dial back to reading.

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Five finger exercises for academic writing

If you have ever learned the piano, you may have had to do ‘five finger exercises’—little pieces that are less about their musical value, and more about making you use all five fingers on your hands, to improve your technique. They are warm-ups, strengthening and skill-building exercises. They are part of the invisible part of performing music—I have never seen a concert performance of these exercises, but I’m also certain that every concert pianist I have ever paid to listen to, has done hours and hours of them in their time.

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Front burner/back burner work

In other words, yes add to your word count and update your EndNote library. But also take time to mull things over or let things mature. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and. Do your front burner and your back burner work to sustainably, excellently, elegantly, enjoyably create writing that will wow your readers.

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My done-diary

In the post back in January about ‘Not forgetting everything you did last year’ I talked about a new done notebook strategy. Four months later, this is a quick update on how I’m using it right now.

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Is it time to de-clutter your ‘to-be-read’ pile?

There is no need to hoard articles you don’t actually want to read, but feel like maybe you might one day. Or to cling onto things you read years ago, like a dragon on a glittering bed of pdfs. Having a bookshelf or a lot of pdfs in your cloud server is not scholarship, and it isn’t a personality. It’s just having a lot of paper. We don’t care if you own a lot of papers, we care about what your critical and expert opinion is of what you have read, and how you are using it to advance knowledge.

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