Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kiki: Check-in and New Goals

Last week, instead of setting specific writing goals, I set bottom lines. They didn't work as well as I would have hoped.

1) I will only do one thing at a time by monotasking with a timer to hold myself accountable for all things prone to attention splatter: dissertating, tweeting, reading blogs, writing my own blog, and doing Yogademia work.  
This actually worked out okay. But I have to become even more focused on the monotasking within a task, like sticking with one webpage at a time instead of moving on to something else while I'm waiting for the site to open.

2) I will not postpone yoga because I feel I should be blogging or reading first. Practice first; blog after.
I didn't postpone it; I actually just didn't practice twice this week, but made it all other days. The first time it was because I was blogging, and the second was because an emergency bike repair offered Darcy and me the chance for a spontaneous mini-date while my bike was in the shop. I'm still not getting in the time I want to, though.

3) I will limit my tweeting to 30 total minutes per day, and limit e-mail time to a maximum of 90 minutes to be batch-checked ONLY at 7a.m. 11 a.m., and 4:15p.m.
With all the links people put into twitter, this doesn't really work. So I regrouped it into my daily inspiration-gathering time, but to be honest I fell off the timer wagon for that one as well. Batch-checking e-mail only at limited times is going pretty well though.

4) I will spend at three hours working on Yogademia daily, but NO LESS THAN two hours of that will be spent writing and drafting posts, and NO MORE THAN one hour on inspiration-gathering.
Crikeys, that was ambitious. I ended up spending WAY more time than that on Yogademia last week, and that really didn't work so well for my pursuit of balance. I need to learn to write shorter posts and spend time revising rather than perfecting. Perfecting has officially become a problem for me.

5) I will dissertate for five hours daily and cross 20,000 words this week (about 2300 each day).
I made it to 15k words, and really can't go any further for the moment. This is the conclusion chapter, but the problem is I'm still waiting for supervisor comments on three of the other four chapters I've written in the last six months. Without those comments and working through my other chapters first, I have to stop where I am for now. So the chapter will ultimately go well over 20k I imagine, but not for a good few months yet.
Sometimes I felt like rather a hypocrite last week, blogging about balance when I wasn't feeling terribly balanced myself for all the time I was spending on the computer. Saturday was spent doing a ton of post writing and drafting for the coming week and the last week of August when I'm away from my computer for five whole days. I didn't do my Artist Date (unless you count Saturday as an all-blogging retreat) this week, didn't sort out a reward (which, let's face it, I didn't earn), and missed yoga twice on top of all that. [Cue Bronx cheer.]

The problem is, because I spent so many years moving around for research, I started putting everything on my computer: yoga classes, blog, work, play, skype, music, running maps, fun creativity exercises, recipes, etc. Literally, my entire life is on the computer, and you can't write about life and balance and all those other wonderful things unless you're away from the computer. Well, duh, but why is that so freakin' difficult? The last thing I want is to be attached at the hip to my laptop, which I will admit is more true than not.

Any tips on how to step away from the computer? Without feeling guilty?

Goals August 16-22
1. Complete conclusion chapter draft and send out to advisor by/before Friday.
2. Complete Yogademia posts for this week by the end of Tuesday
3. Complete Yogademia posts for next week by the end of Friday
4. Begin a blogging-free week on Saturday
5. Daily yoga practice, with 75-90 minute practices at least three times this week, preferably four.
6. Move away from my computer as much as possible within all that.

Artist Date: an hour spent streetcombing

Reward: To celebrate the completion of my full dissertation draft! Five days of computer-free cycling holiday in Scotland with Darcy staying in a 16th-century tower (our original plan to cycle along Hadrian's Wall wasn't going to work out schedule-wise).


  1. First off, here's a big hug for some of the frustration it seems you felt last week & a big cheer for having the finish line in sight for the FULL DRAFT OF LE DISSERTATION. By the end of the week we can sing Go Kiki, go Kiki, it's your birthday, it's your birthday (actually it'll be your diss's bday but whatevs)

    I was nodding my head throughout your post. Here's a couple random thoughts:

    1) Balance is ideal but hard, especially when you're discovering/manifesting a new passion (ie Yogademia). Maybe there a times when we need to be a little unbalanced to bring something whether it be a new hobby, skill, relationship, etc to life.

    2) Flexibility/going with the flow can also be hard when you're trying to keep up with a bunch of different things that you love & need (ie relationship time, writing, blogging, yogaing, relaxing, etc) and little surprises throw your schedule off

    All of that's to say, don't be too hard on yourself. Things might not be happening in the most ideal way but overall you seem to be getting to where you need to be: getting close to finishing the diss draft, building Yogademia, getting in yoga time (even if it's not everyday)

    As for detaching onself from the computer--I will sometimes work in a different room without the laptop. I also set up a reading corner so I can journal and read without always needing to check something. Of course, I don't know how to manage this when I'm doing research writing & need to use the laptop (sometimes I keep a list of the little things my brain wants to look up NOW & when I take a writing break, I look at those sites; the trouble is returning to the writing after the break)

    I'll be cheering you on this week as you do the final lap on the conclusion.

  2. Doll, you are way too hard on yourself! You did a great job with a ton of really tough goals. I am uber proud of you. :)

    As for the whole stepping away from the computer thing, oh Lord, I don't know. I feel that sans my planner pad and laptop AND blackberry, I have no idea what I'm doing or when I'm supposed to be doing it. Sad, huh? I've never really set limits on my computer time (esp since I'm in front of one all day at work), but let me know if you get some good tips!


  3. i have to agree with carolyn, you do set really tough goals. i am proud of you for accomplishing everything you have done! and yeah, stepping away from the computer is hard (do they put crack on the keyboard or something lol?!) :D