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keeping up with my life

March 14, 2010

Dealing with the crush of anxiety while prepping for orals has been a learning experience. I know that when I start feeling overwhelmed, I stop doing everything else. I stop doing the dishes, or cleaning my room, or answering emails, or paying bills, or going out. I used to think it was because I needed to cut down on the list of things I had to do, that I was lowering my stress level by doing less in each day. It doesn’t work though. I end up thinking about whatever it is that is making me anxious AND how messy my apartment is and the bills I haven’t paid and how I’m so sick of being stuck in my apartment all day. So I’m trying, this time, to keep up with things. I cleaned my apartment last weekend to get ready for a visiting prospective, and I’m trying to keep it picked up. I’m making a conscious effort to do the dishes, made easier by the fact that I’m eating so much at my desk that there aren’t many to do. I’m trying to put my clothes away every night, to keep the floor clear. I’m trying to be better about answering emails, or decided that I’ll never do it and moving it out of my inbox, so that it doesn’t remain so cluttered. And, very importantly, I’m counting each of these things as accomplishments for the day. Rather than saying they don’t matter, I’m giving myself credit for what I get done. It feels nice, to have a cleaner apartment, and fewer things to worry about. It lets me focus on orals work with a clearer mind, rather than being paralysed by what needs to be done. It also helps to have such a long list of accomplishments each day, so that when I don’t get something done I feel less bad about it.

Done today:
Answered about twenty student emails
Cleaned the pig’s cage
Picked up around the apartment
Emailed my abstract to my committee chair
Wrote about a half page
Did some lit searching
Attempting to model something
Paid some bills
Finished tax stuff

Still to do:
Wash the pig’s bedding
Go to the library
Write a few more pages
Write some more
Finish a good draft of my research summary
Print research summary and give to Megan
Pick which dye molecule I’ll be using
Answer more student emails
Email Patrick info about his visit
Figure out how to calculate velocity distribution of an effusive beam
Learn about molecular beam sources and detectors

(Yeah, I know you don’t really care. But it helps me to write it down, so :-P)

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