July 29, 2013 Part 1: [A] (How) I Got a Lotta Writing Done Sunday. Yeah, Baby! [B] Liquid Planner Tells Me That Today Marks a Change, an Important Day. [C] Making “Keepable Snack Writing” Possible via Level 3 and 4 Outlining.

Some Good, Good News: I Got a Lotta Writing Done Sunday! Yeah, Baby! Here’s How/Why . . .

My accountability partner (A.P.) said to me at the end of the day yesterday: Wow! You got a lot of writing done today! The “wow” came from surprise. A.P. was surprised, I think, because it seemed like I was playing around in chat all day instead of writing. Scout’s honor: It just so happened that every time A.P. checked in on me, it was “chat with other supportive research writers” time! I’m being sincere! (Really. :)) I also think A.P. was surprised that I accomplished so much writing Sunday because somehow, despite have sat down at my laptop day-after-day for the past 14 days, I hadn’t produced anything that A.P. could READ. I earned a “wow” yesterday.

Wow! 😉


I need to start understanding: So, what was it about YESTERDAY that made it so successful? Well, for one, I made a really good decision yesterday that factored HUGELY into my success in producing lots of WORDS yesterday: I worked in my prime location, what I call my “nook.”


My accountability partner advised me to call it not “my nook” but instead “my office.” Nook implies chillaxing or being cramped/crowded. Office implies official business. That resonated with me and made me get into a business-like state of mind. (Sometimes it’s the SIMPLEST of things, ya know? I’m open to EVERY psychological advantage I can get!).

And, even though I was going to be writing at home all day, I got up early (to be fair, I always do. But STILL!), got formally dressed, and styled my hair. No bumming it attitude for me yesterday! And, I wore my white linen pants that seem, to me anyway, like what a business-like or business-minded person might wear to the beach. I dunno: For some strange reason, I imagine that Hemingway might also wear such pants while writing (now you’re really wondering about me, right? LOL!). And please don’t post evidence to the contrary if you have it: Channelling Hemingway in this way works to get me in a cool, writer-type of mindset, no matter how unfounded it might be! 😉

I’m being quite silly, but in all seriousness, from a different perspective mindset (<– click) is EVERYTHING! (Mindset in terms of having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Very important!)

To sum it up: The reason I got so much done yesterday was because it was the second half of a 48-hour block of planning and writing, I worked in a location prime for productivity and was aware of it as such, and I treated myself like I was alert, focused, and happy to be in the mood to write.

Making “Keepable Snack Writing” Possible via Level 3 and 4 Outlining

(which is dependent upon Level 1 and Level 2 outlining)

So of course I was really glad to have made all that much-needed writing progress yesterday. HOWEVER, I am reminded that it required a block of 48 hours away from everything ELSE in order for it to happenThat’s simply NOT an okay requirement . . . for SEVERAL reasons:

  1. First, it’s SUPER inefficient if you look at the week as a whole. Only genuinely producing for 2 out of the 7 days available? That’s a PROBLEM! Especially if you are already behind schedule, need to finish SOON (real SOON), and have a substantial number of tasks left to do. I need to be capitalizing on the other 5 days too. I just do. Yeah: There’s no doubt about it.
  2. Second, if I can only produce when I have LARGE blocks of uninterrupted time available (as in 24-48 hours), then . . . how will I EVER survive as an academic researcher and professor in today’s publish-or-perish environment? How often do professors have 24-48 hours of COMPLETELY uninterrupted time? And does that sustain a career of publishing? No: Professors and researchers are busy folks at work, not even counting their personal time, family time, social time, etc. Having the ability to produce writing ONLY if given huge spans of free, uninterrupted time is not realistic, sustainable, efficient, or smart/wise. It’s a nonsensical dream, I fear. Yup. Must be eradicated. 🙂

So of course this isn’t the first time I’ve had these thoughts.

Rowena Murray’s book “Writing for Academic Journals” (2nd edition) contains an AMAZING fix for this. I have blogged about it here (<– click) at my general blog about academic researching and writing.

And, this link has some great inspiration surround this issue (and other writing productivity issues): http://jamesclear.com/daily-routines-writers

REAL QUICK: Proposal Bar Chart Issue, and, a New Question

Lesson Learned

My handwritten “Status of the Proposal” bar graph that I made to take stock of things was all wrong: I hadn’t finished my Definition of Key Terms section like I thought I had. Oy! 😦 I was going of off (my very wrong) memory that I was done with that section. When I opened the Definition of Key Terms section in Idea Mason to print it out and place it in my Thesis Binder, I got a nasty surprise. Oy, did it take a lot of unplanned-for time yesterday finishing it. Goes to the importance of taking accurate stock so that you can do accurate planning. Lesson learned.

A New Question

Though I did not make it to worship service yesterday (a rare thing for me), I was able to do some spiritual reading that really buoyed me all day long. So, here is where I am now :):

To watch the sermon online or NOT to watch the sermon online: THAT is the NEW question! 😉

Life is funny when your time management is THAT serious of an issue because you’ve had serious, looming, academic deadlines for years and years. Peace and balance and confidence and trust and a faith God can see: Yes, with these, it’s going to be okay. Come what may, right? 😉 Yes, absolutely yes! 🙂

NOTE: I close this post in the NEXT post, July 29 2013 Part 2 (<–click that to go there to that post) . . .


About Z. Sanders

I love to inspire and encourage, and I believe in counting the blessings (one will always be able to find SOMETHING to be down about, if one tries hard enough). A wife, mathematics educator, and mathematics education researcher, I love to learn and love to teach. I'm a tech-o-phile and avid reader, and I love to design and create systems to support creative work. I love trying new recipes almost as much as I love the Spanish language. A complete music aficionado, sometimes I'm a guitar student. I am trying to live with a faith God can SEE (not just one HE can hear). (I first heard this sentiment from Joel Osteen.) I am CONVINCED that kettle belling, line dancing, jogging, free weight lifting, exercise biking, and Barry's Bootcamp are THE combo! (Try it!). Those are important, because, well, if it's seafood or Mexican food, I'm in! Thanks for stopping by! Godspeed with your endeavors, and may you experience joy today. -- "Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." -- Bill Cosby

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