Productivity goes to 11

We’re in the middle of exams.  Mine was on Friday, then we had the long weekend, which I spent celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday, which is to say no work was done over the weekend.  Because of exams, I have no classes until 12:30, my one middle school class.  So, I have hours of rare free time ahead of me.  Yesterday, I situated myself in the faculty lounge, set a timer, and started grading.  Then I shifted gears to working on the new school website, then back to grading, etc.  I had lunch, went to my class, met with the 1:1 director, met with one of my department members, did some more grading, went home, worked on the web site, ordered pizza, worked on the web site, answered email.  Broke for an hour for dinner.  I did an interview, then ran a Twitter chat (#makered).  And I didn’t feel insane or like I was rushing around trying to get things done.

I think I have to thank UFYH for this.  For all of that, I used the 45/15 method.  45 minutes of work followed by 15 minute breaks.  Knowing that you get to stop and that you have only a small amount of time to work has a couple of benefits.  If the work is drudgery, then you know it has a limit and won’t go on forever.  The limit helped me set goals, like getting a whole section done or getting so many exams graded, which was also nice and probably helped me work more efficiently.  On my breaks, I tried to walk around rather than sit and play games or read since most of my work this week requires being stationary.  Yesterday was admittedly a low step day for me.

At any rate, I’m hoping for super productivity the rest of the week, so I can enjoy the weekend at Educon and be ready to start the semester off next week.  Do you have productivity tips that work for you?  How do you trick yourself into doing work you may not want to do?

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