One discipline I try to maintain is a to-do list journal (of sorts).  I keep a yellow composition notebook on my desk that is full of dated scribbles, my lists of tasks for a particular week, broken down by day.  Alongside the to-do lists are notes of phone calls and meetings as well as the occasional brainstorming session about my mid-probationary dossier or what I’m going to teach in inorganic.  I’m not sure if I make these lists so that I don’t forget what I’m supposed to do or as a way of discovering what I should be doing.

I began this habit in graduate school on a steno pad.  Each day before I left, I tried to write down what I should do the next morning.  I admit that my discipline is not iron-clad.  Especially during the darker times in the middle of my PhD where I mostly stared at my desk. However, I think those steno pads saved me many mornings of wondering what I should be doing with my vast, unstructured time.

You will also find evidence of my experiments with the pomodoro technique and the Eisenhower decision matrix but mostly my book is filled with lists and lists and lists.

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