To quote one of my favorite shows, “I’m a planner.”
I like to think I’m a fairly self-aware person.
Of course, like everyone, I’m not perfect, and there are time when I come up short, either in other people’s estimation or my own.
All of which is to say: I spend a decent of time analyzing myself and my interactions with other people. As a result, I have a good understanding of how I work, and strategies to maximize my productivity during the portions of the day where I have both time and energy to get things done. This semester, I am also, technically speaking, overloading with four full classes as opposed to the required three.
Taking four full classes means that I have to be very deliberate about how I spend my time: I break everything up into smaller sections, make lists to plan out how and when I’ll work through those sections, and update those lists on a daily basis. In some ways I’m deeply indebted to my senior year of undergrad for helping to develop this skill. And it works perfectly for me. Given 15 sections of Cicero to read, I’ll break it up into 3- or 4-section chunks, and then read one chunk per day for four days; same goes for Greek. Archaeology assignments I’ll usually read one article at a time, one article per day, to give myself time to absorb each piece. And for my longer-running project of helping to centrally digitize all of the field notebooks from a 1985-87 survey, I set aside a block of 30-60 minutes (usually at the very end of the day since it’s fairly rote by this point) to make progress.
It’s taken me a while to realize this (and several frustratedly frantic days), but not everyone in my program shares my system. Two of my housemates will regularly leave language assignments to the night before they’re due; one with whom I’m working on the digitizing project, works on that once or twice a week for several hours at a time.
I am myself, and I work in the way(s) that are best suited for me. But I still need to remember that other people have other ways and modes that work best for them.