You Shouldn’t Be Writing (All the Time)

Many people get the idea that they should be working all the time. Certainly many academics do, which for us means a continuous internal reminder that “you should be writing”.

I thought this way in grad school but I don’t anymore. I now almost never work on nights & weekends, and often not on afternoons. Yet I get just as much work done, maybe more, and I’m much happier about it. How can this be?

This post from Ava provides a great explanation. Its very short and you should read it, but I think it illustrates best through its literal illustrations:

Today is a good example. I’m writing this at noon, having just finished the revisions requested by a journal after 3 hours of solid work. Now, rather than start revising the next article & doing a bad job of it, I’ll take the rest of the day off. Real original thought is hard- I know I can do it for about 3 hours on a typical day, I have no one to impress by pretending to work longer, and one way or another the output will speak for itself. As remote work grows, this ability to do the real work and then stop rather than fill time “working” should be available to more people outside of academics.

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