Sunday, 23 October 2011


Just got back from an awesome weekend with a friend from New Haven (who was in Toronto for a conference). We went to see Josh Ritter do a reading (yes, he's written a book!) went to dinner and went out to a place with ants on the walls. Great fun and it was awesome to see her.

Today we went for brunch with another friend who lives in the city, and we had the most interesting conversation about ADHD and getting things done. One of my friends is a psychiatrist and took a "tendency to ADHD" measure when she was working with kids - and came out in the "probably a problem" range. The other one has actually been diagnosed. I've never been assessed for it, but a lot of the things they were talking about sound veeeeeery familiar. I know I have to leave twice as much time as a normal person would take to write something, because I will write one sentence and then go off and check email or make some tea or something. (I have ducked out at least six times while writing this paragraph). Not the most efficient, but on the other hand I allow for it and things still get done - eventually.

The thing is, the other two do exactly the same thing. It was really comforting to hear that I am not the only one who does this, although it is kind of depressing to think about how much time and brainpower are being wasted on workarounds to get us to the same point someone who can focus for more than two seconds is already at.

That said, all three of us have been relatively successful despite the fact that we can't focus for more than two freaking minutes. I wonder how many other people are in this boat (I know not everyone is: I have watched Helena sit down and write - actually write, not hopping around to 20 other things! - for 45 minutes at a time and get a paper out in a week or so). I also wonder how much I could accomplish if I could just figure out how to focus - and how much time I've spent developing workarounds. Anyway, I thought this was really interesting. (For the record, other things I do are keeping a list of stuff that needs to get done and trying to match my energy level with an appropriate item, otherwise there is no hope; and giving in to my slightly bipolar work habits and, when I have a totally unproductive week like last week, sometimes just take time off rather than trying to push through. I usually find that after going away for a while I can bounce back and have a much more productive week the next week).

Anyway, in other news my life is pretty boring. Back living at the same place in Guelph (cheap rent!) and doing pretty much nothing except work. This weekend was the first time I went to the city, and the second time I went out, since I returned to Ontario. I've been laying pretty low on the weekends and trying not to spend money. My goal is to have a thesis draft by December, and so far I've got two experimental chapters and most of the intro written plus another half-chapter (experimental). I think I'll probably end up with about 3-4 experimental chapters plus an intro and discussion - the intro is usually pretty extensive, though, so getting most of that out of the way is a big deal. I'm also running a couple more experiments, supervising a couple of students and starting up some new things, as well as TAing (always TAing). It's SO much more chill than this time last year, though. That was insane. This is a lot of hard work, but a lot less intense than last year.

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