Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Small Increments, Good Progress

Things with the dissertation are moving along just swimmingly. Although, I must complain for a moment.

I am a big-picture thinker. And, at the moment I am mired in data-analysis stuff that is all about the small-level details. On the one hand, this is good because frankly it's not using my brain at full speed. On the other, it's very easy for me to get distracted by, oh, just about ANYTHING ELSE I can muster because I'm just so fucking bored right now.

This shall pass.

And I think I've learned a decent way to get through it. I count everything. I count the number of codes I've smashed (my term for merging one or more open codes into one that's more usable across several participants), I count the number of minutes I've worked, I count backward the number of minutes I have to go till something fun happens, like the new episode of Lost that's on tonight. This incremental view of my time has helped a great deal with these details, and it's also helping in other things like my exercise routine (I actually tried running, instead of fast-walking, this morning...BIG mistake), certain tedious tasks at work, etc. It's helping. I start counting, and the next thing I know I'm 10% done. Then 25%. Then 50%. Then heck, I'm halfway done I may as well do the other half. It's coming together OK.

And then I try to schedule a lunch or a meeting with other fellow big-picture thinkers as a reward. I can blither on about practically nothing practical and we all get along just fine. Sort of feeds the mind and gives me energy to get back to the damn analysis at hand.

Making progress, though still a ways to go.


Anne said...

Counting works! :o)

Anonymous said...

Remember when I told you I cleaned all my jewelry with a toothbrush, including the little posts that go thru the ear? That was during this stage and, in case it helps, I've never done it again.
PS We WILL talk soon.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I need to apologize as a major participant in providing your gene pool, especially the "big thinker" brain and the "helium hand" parts. Mea culpa.
Since I have had more experience with those aspects of my personality, I recognize 'whatsup' when I start sorting underwear, jewelry I never wear, old photos,and my ragged recipe box.
I still am Secretary of the Condo Assoc., resisted the call to be Pres. and just booked a one week trip to Paris. Happy trails, my are a great big