In the Midst of a Busy April

Waiting for Coffee at the Coffee Shop
The semester is in the final weeks and in a month my students will be walking  across the stage to receive their hard-earned degrees. This point of closure for them is aligned with my own beginning: a new summer challenge.

It is hard to believe that summer months are going to be rolling in so quickly, especially since on my "search for spring" walk through the neighborhood, I could barely find any signs of it yet here in the Boston region. Nevertheless, now is the time for me to plan out the long summer months to maximize my productivity.

I actually woke up this morning on my research Friday knowing that I have a ton of things to get through but finding it difficult to pin point where to start. I found my mind panicking. But, over the last few years of transitioning from graduate school into the workforce and discovering what it means to be a scholar while teaching and maintaining my administrative job, I have learned that I simply need to establish a plan.

As it turns out, I am currently in the position to create new goals. After thinking through what is currently on my desktop I realized that many of my targets that I set out in January have been completed, fulfilled, or are in a waiting position under someone else's time so I am at liberty to begin to plan out my bigger goals. While last year I did not present any conference papers of note and focused most of my summer weeks on compiling new databases for future research, this summer and autumn are set to be an entirely different experience. I have three conference presentations lined up with perhaps a fourth one in the works. Because of this, my summer will be chopped up in a different way. A long-term daily research schedule on a single topic will not be taking place. On the one hand, I am assuming that the smaller projects will be somewhat easier to organize around. On the other hand, I have much stricter deadlines for these projects which will require me to be more disciplined in my work.

Plan carefully. Work efficiently. This will be my motto for the upcoming summer's work schedule. By sitting down with my calendar now in April, I will be able to find what is most important in all of the different tasks that will need to get done prior to the presentation days ahead of me.