Over the past year, I’ve received support from an academic coach who has helped me to become better at carving out time to work on focused writing on papers, book chapters, and grant proposals. I highly recommend her if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your academic work, are constantly working on other people’s agendas, and are looking to make lasting improvements to your academic quality of life! You can reach her at Scholars & Writers consulting (not sponsored :)).
Yesterday, I was asking her for advice on how to better fight the constant urge to check the news, social media, my phone, and whatever else digital interruption I am craving in these wonderful pandemic times. In addition to other advice, such as making a list of three to five things I would rather be doing than that, she asked me the following: do I want to produce or consume? This sounds simple enough, but is very powerful. For social media, do you want to consume whatever the latest and greatest engagement-optimizing algorithm decides is worth your attention or rather engage in activities that are adding value, either to your own life or that of others? For checking the news, is it helpful to constantly check in on ongoing events and worrying about their outcomes?
What would I rather do instead? I have many hobbies that are in many countries considered for grannies, such as crochet, knitting, sewing, where I could actually be making stuff for myself or to gift to others. In addition, I love to play story-driven videogames, enjoying beautiful graphics, worlds, and rich stories. Though games are arguably more on the consuming side of things, it inspires me more than doomscrolling does. Finally, I remembered that I actually enjoy writing a lot. Not only professionally, but also on this very blog that I began while I was still a PhD. So here we are, with a short blog post after a century of blogging hiatus. My hopes and dreams for this blog are to produce content that has the potential to be helpful to others. To produce more and consume less.
I will wrap up this post with some more recommendations of things I enjoyed not too long ago, so that the title hopefully makes sense 🙂
- Recommended books: Atomic Habits, Getting Things Done
- Recommended home exercise program: Team Body Project
- Recommended games: Persona 5 Royal (PS4), Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (Switch)
- Recommended recipes: Chana Masala, Simple Pindasaus, Gyoza
I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments (hopes and dreams), but that might be too big of an ask 🙂 Whether you comment or not, I wish you a wonderful productive day!