You may recall my earlier posts about my graduate student work day, in which I planned out, hour by hour, how I would make everything fit.  Unfortunately this was a very hard schedule to keep up at times, and sometimes resulted in more stress when I couldn’t meet the schedule.

The schedule isn’t getting any easier, however.  This upcoming semester I’m not taking any classes, but I am

  • Working full time
  • Teaching 2 nights per week at the community college, including lab (5 credit hours total)
  • Comprehensive exams (studying and then writing)
  • Data prep for my dissertation

That’s plenty. 

So I will be putting together a comparable schedule for the semester, but with one small modification.  Every day I will be printing out an hour by hour schedule, and writing down how I actually spend the time that day.  Each week I will review the results of this tracking and revisit the schedule for the next week.  My goal is to refine the schedule to make it realistic and adjust my time estimates to be more accurate.

The other key to my plan for the semester is to reduce commitments; if it isn’t core, it isn’t on the schedule.  That means streamlining and integrating my workouts so that they are part of my day and not a big exception.  First, I will be taking public transport on non-teaching days, which means a 5 mile bike ride to the train station – figure about 30 minutes each way.  However since the train is faster than sitting in traffic that time should net out.  Second, I am making a commitment to do my strength training during the evenings while watching television – I enjoy the relaxation time, but there is no good reason not to do squats and curls during commercials.

Here’s to a somewhat less stressful semester.