One of the issues of late for me has been the complete and utter lack of balance in my life.  I would go to work, stressfully work on research, then fall in to bed.  No exercise, no relaxation, and no time with friends.  This needs to stop.  So on my 3 hour each way drive to the site and back today I thought about it how to do that.

Part of the issue is unrealistic expectations about what I can really get done.  Or rather, unrealistic expectations of how much time I can spend productively on my academic work.  I am revising my graduate student work day to reflect my lack of life or rather the need for me to HAVE a life if I’m going to finish successfully.

Key features:
1 free day per week – completely free.  SUNDAY tentatively, but that can change week by week
1 hour of reading on workday evenings, Monday through Thursday.  No expectation of more
1 hour of EXERCISE 5 days per week.  Fridays and Sundays off. 

That gives me 12 hours of work on my dissertation per week – not much, but maintainable.  If I have no other plans on a Sunday, then that is a bonus.  But I need to stop requiring myself to work 7 days per week and 14 hours per day.  Hopefully this will be more sustainable over the long haul.

I also plan to talk to my adviser and give up my assistantship.  2 reasons – 1) I don’t have time to do the work and 2) he can use it for someone else.  I just would prefer not to be committed to work that I won’t have time to do and will then feel guilty about.

Here’s the revised version: