Wednesday, May 28, 2014

On importance of setting priorities

Like many of my over-coffenaited hyper-energised and ambitious peers I have trouble saying no to opportunities. 

To the extend it becomes a real issue when I suddenly realise I have to be in two or three places at once the next morning. 


If only I could clone myself... (But then my clone/s would rise up against me and take over my life. And I wouldn't want that to happen, so I'll have to handle all the consequences of my opportunity-loving nature solo.


So, I wish I could say I have learnt my lesson by now in regards to double-triple-booking myself and taking on more than I can handle, but sadly no, that is not the case yet, not fully. Though I'm aspiring to change my opportunistic yes-saying ways. I plan to achieve that by setting a strict ranking of my priorities for this year and the years to come. 


In the spirit of this priority-setting strategy, today and this week I'm working on a pile of projects I've taken on while I was a doctoral student for the past three+ years. I hope to catch up on these projects (which are, in total, three), write up reports-to-date and discuss future steps with my colleagues/managers. I have a one-woman research and evaluation consultancy that I run now and I have to see how that venture goes since I'll be starting in a new researcher position soon while working on some final corrections for my doctoral thesis (and pursuing my writing career, of course!) before I can bound my thesis in pink faux leather, submit it for realsies and graduate whilst wearing a funny hat. 


Like I already said, I'm also concentrating on my writing career (even more so this year than in the past three years all-together). I've written three books to date (not counting my doctoral thesis which I also hope to pitch as non-fiction once I identify the appropriate ways to do that). 


I'm quite proud of my third book - it's quirky and dark but also has a sense of humour (I hope), and I've put a lot of heart and work into it. But my second book is also not bad, and I think regardless of how it turns out with my third one, I'll be self-publishing the second one (The Hayden Project) anyway (unless someone from the trad pub world wants it) - I owe that much to my test-readers who keep asking me when I write the sequel [grins mischievously].  


Today, with stern hands I typed an 'apologies' email to this conference I was accepted into months prior. June is almost here and July will soon follow. I cannot be in two places at once. Besides there's also that issue of academic conferences charging its speakers (not just those who want to attend and learn things but those who are there to present!) astronomical attendance prices and I don't think I want to feed into this strange way of doing things any longer. When I was a doctoral candidate, I could apply for a conference/travel funding through my school and that has allowed me to go to a number of domestic conferences and also to Paris for an international one. Now, that I'm no longer a student and have exhausted my travel funding anyway, I might be done with academic conferences for a while unless my new employer will want to send me somewhere on their dime. 


I started on some preliminary research for my next literary project. I'm getting to the state of excitement about this one that I better soon sit down and start writing, because the story is ninety percent formed in my head.


I've gotten my PhD examiners' reports back now and it's all good. I'm happy. I can't believe though that soon I'll have that long-suffering PhD of mine. Will have to let my Granma know since she keeps asking my parents when will I complete.


That's it for now. Back to work for now, so I can stretch on the sofa with a book later. 






   

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