A bad habit I developed from running cross-country in high school is counting down the amount of time before an unpleasant task is over. The afternoon before a race, I'd be sitting in class, feeling the butterflies start up in my stomach, and comfort myself by thinking, "In three hours, it'll be over." During the race, that kind of thinking actually motivated me to run faster -- after all, the faster I ran, the faster the race would be over, right? I'd pass by each landmark (the first hill, crossing the bridge, the highest hill, crossing the bridge again, arriving at the last flat stretch before the finish line) with a growing sense of relief, knowing that I could expend more energy because there was proportionally less time left.
All well and good, but the habit expanded to other areas of my life, to the point where I tend to think about time more in those terms than any other. The benefit is that I sometimes budget my time and energy better if I have set boundaries; the downside is that I sometimes tend to waste time consciously. Only two working hours left in the day? Well, if I fill them with little minor tasks, I won't have to commit to serious work.
I have two school weeks left before spring break (egads, it is so not spring here, but our break is always foolishly early). I'd like to get some solid exam prep in before then, including making some minor revisions to my exam list. That I designate priority #1, in the hope of budgeting time each work day to attend to it. Other important but less crucial priorities: grade one more batch of student essays (this week); practice singing regularly (been getting better at this in past week); prepare a presentation for the one seminar I'm taking (also this week, in collaboration with another student).
Luckily, that potential move I mentioned a few posts ago isn't happening, at least not this month. For the interested: I'm planning on moving back to NY at the end of this semester. My boyfriend currently rents a 1-br from his university, but it's too small to hold two dissertation-writers at once, what with all our books and our propensities to write at home. He applied this month for a transfer to a bigger 1-br, and didn't make the cut; he'll apply again next month, and if that doesn't pan out, we'll be forced to scour the NY housing market. While I'm not too worried - there are 1- and even 2-brs in OK neighborhoods within our budget - there would be some convenience to another university-managed apartment (fine neighborhood, attentive management [at least in our building], reasonable rents, no need to apartment-hunt).