The bottom line of productivity is knowing when to say “No”; “Getting things done” doesn’t work if you try to get EVERYTHING done.  So this weekend I said NO to some things I had previously said YES to. 

Specifically I dropped the Philosophy of Education class.  I’m interested in the topic, but the fact is that I don’t need the credits, the reading list is heavy, and the Prof isn’t impressing me.  Moreover I need to get working on my own research and spend less time on other activities.

So, I now have 2 “class-type” activities.  One is the grant-writing seminar (non-credit, with my Chair).  The first class is tomorrow and we will assess whether it is worth our time.  My guess is it will be but since it isn’t a credit class the work should be far less.

The second is the 2 sections of an online class that I am ‘sitting in’ on.  If all goes well I will take over teaching the class as an adjunct starting this summer, so this is my opportunity to provide feedback to the course developer, get a feel for the material and understand the flow.  I have a bunch of reading to catch up on but again, I’m not being graded.  Work, but less pressure.

My highest priority for the next week is to write a proposal for the History of Education conference.  I thought I had a good idea but I have found more information on my target time and place that is changing my conception of the project.  Therefore I need to spend some time this week and revise the project concept.  Then I need to get a draft to my writing group.  (We’re meeting for brunch next week….)

My next highest priority is to start going to the gym again and eating better.  I have been letting that go because of time and stress, and I really need to stop it.  Working out is important for sleep and stress relief, regardless of what it does for my weight.  I need to stop prioritizing other things above it. 

Third priority is the conference presentation.  I need to get my section revised. 

That’s likely to be all I get done this week, realistically, although if I have more time I need to start reading the pile of books I’ve gotten lately in my area.  But I need to do a better job of keeping my eye on my priorities and dropping the things that aren’t as important.