The 9-Week Summer Productivity Challenge

Task List | Source: J Dueck on FlickrA fellow blogger, Economically Humble, has proposed a 9-week summer productivity challenge, and I’ve decided to get on board! As you’ve probably gathered by now, from reading my last few posts, I have a busy summer ahead of me, so any chance to help my productivity is welcomed! The goal of the challenge is to list 9 things that I will complete in the next 9 weeks to increase my productivity – so here goes!

  1. Get married with a minimal amount of stress! Yes, that is easier said than done. The big day is happening before the end of the month, and time is crunching. All the big conceptual things are done, but we’re into the details now – decorations, picking music, all that little stuff that can cause immeasurable amounts of stress. The goal here is to get it done and remember that really, no matter what the choices are, they will be great!
  2. Finish the first draft of my thesis by mid-July. I’m about halfway through right now, and I can’t wait to be finished! I’m a serial procrastinator, and getting through this task has been really tough for me, but it has to get done, all while doing goal #1!
  3. Write the final paper for my final graduate course. At least the topic for this one is interesting! I’m going to be writing about ethical investing and the pitfalls of socially responsible mutual funds. That said, I still have to write about 15-20 pages on the topic, so no easy feat. And its due in mid-July also! At least it should also give me a lot of blog material for the rest of the summer!
  4. Enjoy the summer while doing #2-3. The last thing I want to do is spend my entire summer cooped up behind a desk writing paper upon paper. So this goal is to do as much work as possible outside. There’s no reason why I need to be indoors to write, and I’m hoping that being outdoors and enjoying the weather will allow me to be more productive.
  5. Write more blog posts about the environment! I love blogging about personal finance, but I feel like most topics have been blogged to death at this point. But the environment can have a PF spin, and its still an untapped source of information. I always get great feedback from people on my environmental posts saying that they didn’t know about the things I was writing about. And now they’re starting to attract attention – on Monday, I got an email from the Carton Council of Canada defending Tetra Paks, after I posted my concerns about Tetra Pak recycling. I haven’t had a chance to really consider the email, but I plan to look into it and do a follow up on Earth and Money in the future.
  6. Write out a list of things to try for the Fall. Starting in September, for the first time ever, I will not be committed to anything (except my new wife that is). As much as I’m looking forward to that, I don’t want to waste my time either. That said, I don’t like making goal lists because they tend to set you up for failure – yah, that’s a little hypocritical given what I’m doing right now, I know. So I want to put together a list of things I want to try this Fall. Some might pan out, some might not, but you never know if you don’t try.
  7. Take more pictures. One of my major hobbies is photography, but its something I have sparingly been able to do since I’ve been back in school. I want to get out more and take more pictures, because its a wonderful hobby that really gets the creative juices flowing.
  8. Make a defined effort to limit web browsing to 1-hour a day. This is tough – I’ve tried this many times before, and never been successful at it. But I believe that browsing the web is the single greatest time waster in my life and I will once again try to curb it!
  9. Successfully defend my thesis in mid-August. OK, this will actually happen after 9 weeks has elapsed, but its still part of the summer. That will be a sweet, sweet day but it will require a lot of preparation as I’m sure my advisory committee will be gearing up to grill me.

Readers, do you make goal lists, or do you , like me, think they set you up for failure? How do you manage your time to stay productive?

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6 thoughts on “The 9-Week Summer Productivity Challenge

  1. OMG, you are also a graduate student!!!! I can’t believe I did not realize this! I’m totally going to support your blog as much as I can!

  2. Pingback: The Value of the Corporate Social Responsibility Label | Earth and Money

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