Way back in the pre-PhD, pre-baby days I was in the habit of setting goals for myself at the beginning of each month and then assessing my progress at the end of the month. It worked fairly well for me in terms of focusing my efforts on a relatively short list of tasks, and sometimes even managing to cross them off. Over the last year or so, the goal setting as suffered, as my goals seemed fairly self-evident: survive, keep everyone healthy, and get the needed things done. But now I find that I’m missing my monthly goal-setting session and record of progress. So I’ve decided to revitalize the tradition, focusing on the research and longer-term teaching tasks, rather than the short-term “must write tomorrow’s lecture” sort of issues. And to help me along the way, this month is the second annual InaDWriMo – international dissertation writing month – that actually encompasses all aspects of academic writing and revising.
Here are my goals for the month of November:
1. Submit revised paper Δ to journal
2. Finish data analysis for project Γ
3. Start reading textbook and designing course Z
4. For course Y: obtain textbook, start designing labs
Goal 1 is the focus of my InaDWriMo committment. I pledge to respond to each of the reviewers’ criticisms in the revised paper or the editor’s letter as appropriate. I think there are about 28 comments, so if I just average one a day, it should be easily manageable. Note that I say, “about 28″ – I don’t have the reviews at home this weekend, so I can’t be sure and I actually haven’t looked at the reviews for at least a month. Probably not a good sign in terms of progress, but then again, I also know that I have already addressed some of the issues and weekends are for family time (and blogging) so na-na-a-boo-boo. Yes, I am really adult.
I’ll be swapping out the Donors Choose thermometer for the InaDWriMo button and a little ticker of my progress. That why I won’t be pestering you all with daily updates, but I’ll still feel publicly accountable. And that’s the point of InaDWriMo anyway.
Want to join me in goal setting or writing/revising? Want to suggest the ways you keep yourself motivated or focused on the big picture tasks? Please share in the comments.