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Having big chunks of unscheduled time to do your Div III can be daunting. For many of you, it is the first time you are working for yourself, so to speak. Think about how conscientious you are about getting work done for someone else and show that same responsibility to yourself. You deserve the same dedication (or more)!!!
Here are some ideas for helping with that:
1) Make a weekly and daily schedule (actually keep a calendar) – write down the times you will be reading and writing or the times you will be meeting with your chair, committee, group of friends, classes, librarians, etc. Consider the times of day you are at your best for the various tasks and write them down on your calendar!
2) Don’t be unrealistic about how long you can sit and read or write about your reading – make doable times. Add more shorter times if that works better than fewer longer times. Know yourself.
3) Hold these times sacred – turn off your phone, don’t surf the web, don’t answer friends who want to distract you. It is your time (you wouldn’t walk out on a boss, would you?). Let your friends know you are doing this so that they can be on your side instead of trying to undermine you. You might suggest they do the same thing.
4) Schedule some kind of treat for yourself if you finish your scheduled work – meet a friend for coffee or tea, go for a bike ride, take a hot shower, buy a new song. Wait until you meet your deadline to do it, though.
5) Make a to-do-list. There are some free tools for helping with this. Check out Trello. It is free and anyone can create an account. It helps you create lists and set priorities. You can even invite others to your list if you have a collaborative part of your project or want your committee to see your lists.
6) Invite friends for parallel play. Sometimes it works well to have someone else working nearby. Then you can congratulate each other when you are done!