Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Changing Things Up

I've felt like one of the keys to success for me the last year or so has been that I've committed to a kind of 9-5 work schedule. I mean, I still check email in the evenings sometimes, and on the weekends, and I have some travel. But mostly, really, I did my work during typical work hours. This helped me focus on work while at work, and focus at home while at home. The whole "balance" mirage seemed just a little more attainable this way.

But, now, with Eric's new work schedule, I think I'm going to have to change things again. I've tried and tried but I just can't get up at 5:30am and start working. My body may be able to arise out of bed, but my brain is mush. And I usually need my brain, like most folks, to work effectively.

Also, E has this elbow injury that is not going away, so now he's going to physical therapy twice a week in the early mornings. Which means I couldn't be working then anyway. Then there's the 6-9pm class I'll be teaching Wednesday nights. Which already stretches my tired old body as it is. Switching to a morning schedule would truly be disastrous for having any sort of coherence in a late-night class.

So, it looks as if I'm going back to a split schedule, where I get up and start work around 7, and go until 3, when the kids will need to be picked up. If I take a shower and get ready, have lunch, or work out or run errands, then there just won't be enough time in the day.

At least, I think there won't. And that means working a few more nights a week, or some half-days on the weekend.

I know, wah-wah. I know, I've posted about this already. But it's worrying me, this shake-up in schedule, I'm worried about swinging out of balance again, and I know how much misery that causes.

Too, I've got in my head a little voice that says maybe that much work is enough, that I can get it all done in that time frame. My favorite and most productive mode of working these days is to set myself a limited number of tasks, and when I finish those, I'm finished for the day. No need to push on to infinity with the to-do list. So maybe 7 hours of good work a day will do it.

[The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests I should not admit to such things on a public blog. That such admissions will be held against me. I know this, and still feel like these are honest calculations academics (especially parents) make. So here they are].

I do know that when I woke up this morning and realized I would have an extra hour or two tonight to finish the day's work (with Eric's blessing), I felt a weight lift. Maybe I'll need it, maybe I won't. I'll let you know.

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