Saturday, October 24, 2009

Work Routines

I have not been blogging for a long time and am hoping to get back to it. During this summer, I did not blog because I was trying to work on my dissertation without distractions. But this was a far from easy experience. My laptop crashed three times during this time. The first time they managed to fix it and I recovered everything. The second time I lost about half a chapter (I had been backing everything up but unfortunately, could not make myself do it each time I wrote). But the computer was done – its hard drive and memory were fried. So, Gregg and I went out and bought a desktop and I put the dissertation on it. I could not load Endnotes on it though (that is what I had been using for my dissertation) and had to switch my entire Endnotes library to Refworks. It took me a week to switch my dissertation to refworks from endnotes.

Anyway, all of this paid off and finally I am done with the dissertation (except some small changes). But here is the problem: I have developed a routine for work. To work – whether that is grading, prepping classes, reading for the dissertation or writing – I need to sit on my couch with a laptop and the television on. Most people do not believe this. They think it is impossible to read or write with the television on. But this is how I researched and wrote my entire dissertation. So, since the defense I have found myself completely unable to work. This is not exhaustion as everyone keeps telling me. It is simply that I cannot work without a laptop. The desktop is nowhere near the TV and I cannot work when anchored to a spot. It drives me crazy and I can only sit at the computer for about 30 minutes at a time.

So, about 6 weeks after the defense, I finally gave in and bought a new laptop. Nothing fancy or complicated. But tonight I am sitting in front of the TV as I type this and I am so happy. I feel productive again. I wonder whether everyone has a work routine without which they are unable to be productive. I hope so…that would make me less crazy.