How’s Your Book Coming Along?: 5 Ways to Jump Start Your Big Project

creative work, productivity, Uncategorized
How is your dissertation coming along? Are you STILL working on that book? You've probably heard variations of that question over and over again in your academic career. And the question can be uncomfortable because the asker might not understand the timetable for something like a dissertation or a monograph and you grow weary of explaining. OR the question can be uncomfortable because, well, you probably should have had it done a long time ago. Writing is hard work. Writing something about which you care deeply and which will be used to evaluate you professionally for years to come is doubly so. But whether you're working on an article, a dissertation, your first book, or your seventeenth, you don't have to do it alone. Whether you want formal accountability or…
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Sparking Joy and “No”

big picture question, coaching
One of the questions I often ask in my capacity as coach is "what resonates with you?" That may be sort of woo-woo language, but it gets at something fundamental about feelings and desires, which, in turn can give us access to deep reserves of motivation and excitement around something. To have something resonate with you is different than "liking" something or approving of it or wanting to do it. Resonance comes, I believe, from your gut, your instinct and is an internal nod of the head of sorts that says, "oh, yes; that fits." When I think of the concept of resonance, I picture really clearly the room in which I took yoga classes during my first pregnancy. As I got bigger and bigger, I had to modify more…
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Time Budgeting for Academics

productivity, services
Do you want to be more productive with your time? I sure do. People say that time is money, but I disagree. Time is MORE VALUABLE than money. You can (almost) always go out and make more money, but today never returns. The time you spend today or tomorrow is time you'll never get back. I've created an E-Book with Eight of my best Time Budgeting tips and tricks, and it's free for people who sign up for my newsletter. Fill out the form below to get your copy! (And subscribers to the newsletter also get deals on coaching, special reviews of books of interest to the academic community, and access to my private FB group, if they wish.) [contact-form][contact-field label="Name" type="name" required="true" /][contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="true" /][contact-field label="Website" type="url"…
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Taking Note

big picture question, productivity
That simple title, "Taking Note," could lead into a dozen different posts. I could write about my love of writing notes on books and lectures in longhand. Or about my obsession with high-quality French and Japanese paper goods. Or how I find writing with a fountain pen a superior writing experience in ALMOST all situations. Or about one of my favourite new podcasts, "Note to Self," and digital notes. But this is actually about taking note in terms of NOTICING. Because we can go through our hours and our days without taking much note of our surroundings, or what we're doing with our hands, or the words we use, or the emotional wake we leave behind, or myriad other things. Making a habit of taking note, of NOTICING, can be…
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The Frog vs. the Wombat

creative work, productivity
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain Twain’s words on how to start your day have turned into a catchphrase for productivity gurus. “Eat that Frog!” as a Google search turns up blog posts, videos, cartoons, and even books on task management and productivity. Lifehacker has a good summary of the principle. Simply put, your “frog” is that thing you need to do but don’t really want to. It’s an unpleasant task, or something that is going to take time and energy away from other things you enjoy more, or it’s necessary drudge work that is required for success but doesn’t involve any explicit reward, etc. The gist of Twain’s comment as it…
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Let’s Talk About Your “Problem”

your office
Oh, I'm sorry, maybe I didn't really mean you. I mean, well, if you DON'T actually have rooms full of books you haven't touched in ages then no, obviously, I was not talking to you at all. I'm so sorry for my impertinence. Move along; nothing to see here. If you're still here, I'm going to forge ahead on the assumption that you do, indeed, have a book problem. While I'll admit that this is marginally better than having a bookie problem, I'll go out on a limb and guess that you've had friends, significant others, or the people from the moving company comment on the size of your . . . collection. And while your shelves of tomes may provide you with a security blanket of sorts (I might…
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