Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year, New Goals, New Tricks (and a Seinfeld connection)

Greetings dissertators! After a knee injury, I'm back at work and working. (ha!) Today, I've gotten quite a bit done on the dissertation. I updated my EndNote (reference) files, I worked on a concept map for my literature review, and I've continued to write at a case study. That doesn't sound like a lot of work, but actually, it was. And it all counts toward work on the dissertation. I checked it off on the calendar.

What does that mean, you might be asking yourself.

Several months ago on Lifehacker, I read about Jerry Seinfeld and his productivity secret. In short, Seinfeld has a giant wall calendar, and for each day that he writes, he places a big "X" on that day's square. There becomes a motivation to not "break the chain" of Xs. I've started that process. Each day that I work on the diss-- no matter what it is that I have to do, as long as I do something-- I check off that day on the calendar.

My graduation goal is now August 2008.

Another trick I've begun to use: I use iGoogle for my home page as I can use a number of widgets (and I just love widgets!) that help organize me and my time. One of those widgets is a countdown calendar. As I look at my homepage on the other monitor, I see that there are 214 days until my graduation. It mocks me. It taunts me. But I'll meet that goal. I have a similar widget on my Facebook profile, so I don't spend too much time out there. If there is that number staring me in the face, I feel compelled to get to work.

How about you? Any productivity tips you want to share?

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