If you’re like me you have specific research, teaching, and service goals in this new year and new semester. If you’re like me, you’re also wondering what you need to change in order to make those goals happen. Here are a few things that have helped me:
1. Turn off all your notifications on your devices. That little “ding” every time you get an email? Kill it. Crops ready for harvest in “Oregon Settler?” They can wait, and your phone shouldn’t be buzzing you about this in any case. Your phone making noise when you get a text? Kill it, too, and let your loved ones know that they should call you on your office phone in case of a Really Serious Emergency.
2. Delete your email client and social media apps from your phone.
3. Find a browser extension or something that will block you from certain parts of the internet on a schedule you choose. I use a program called Freedom that works across multiple devices.
4. Read Deirdre McCloskey’s essay “Economical Writing.”
5. Read Michael Munger’s essay in “Scaling the Ivory Tower.” It begins on page 21.
That’s probably a good place to stop for now. Happy writing and I hope your semester begins well.