I am a procrastinator.
Huge procrastinator. It has become a part of my M.O. Sometimes it is justified because the thing I am putting off requires more thought and energy than I am capable of devoting to it at the time.
Case in point: spending my start-up funds. I started my job in Fall 2014. I eventually received start-up funds. I have delayed in spending the majority of these funds until just recently because they expire on June 17. Now, if it was just a matter of making a list and filling a cart on Amazon, I would have taken care of it immediately. But at my university, things are infinitely more difficult. I have to go through a lengthy process of requests and approvals, from asking that a vendor fill out a university-specific document, to transferring money into different accounts, copying and pasting product codes… hoop after hoop after hoop.
All of it has been quite stressful and anxiety-inducing. All of it probably shouldn’t be my job at all. At other universities, you make a request for software and then it shows up. With mine, I have to send the terms and conditions to General Counsel to be approved before they will okay the purchase, especially because is a download and not a hard disk.
Can you see why I delayed until after the semester was over to jump through these hoops?
In any case, that is one of the things I have worked on so far this summer.
The next thing I have worked on is my online teaching. I found out two weeks before summer classes started that I was teaching in Summer 1, not Summer 2. One of the courses was basically good to go. The other has been taught online, but not in condensed form and it needs to be updated anyway. I got Week 1 of 6 ready to go before it launched on Monday. Have I started work on Week 2? Nope. I sat on my ass dicking around on the Internet today.
I’ve been seeing articles pop up in my Facebook newsfeed about how academics can claim their productivity for the summer. “Schedule in time for writing!” they claim. “Keep your writing time sacred!” “Make goals and mini goals!” “Use the SMART goal system!”
I bookmark such articles and move on to read something like “17 Things You Didn’t Know About the Harry Potter Movies!” Note: I knew all of them already, including that Rupert Grint owns an ice cream truck. Geez.
I want to be productive. I have a few precious years left before I go up for tenure and it’s not like articles get accepted right away. I need a fire lit under me. I’m hoping the research materials I’ve ordered inspire me or refresh my flame of passion for sociological content analysis.
But sometimes it’s more enjoyable to stay up all night texting with a friend as we both watch the cinematic “masterpiece” that is Hell Comes to Frogtown. I’ve got to have some fun, right?
In terms of summer goals overall, here we go:
- Complete one manuscript and send it off
- Prepare Sociology of Sexualities syllabus
- Work out at least four days a week
- Get my sleep schedule under some sort of control by early August
- Watch The Wire (finally)
- Get caught up on my comics
- Use my FitBit more regularly
I think those are reasonable.
You’ll note a lack of dating-related goals. I quit Tinder and Bumble and OKCupid for the time being. I need some me-time and they weren’t doing much for me anyway.