Since defending my dissertation proposal, I've taken an unintentional break from productivity. I've been spending more time with friends, more time reading things for pleasure, more time at my mother's house, and more time in the office, checking in dissertations and theses for May graduation.
I'm struggling to regain balance. I have still been exercising (though this week I've only logged about 2.5 hours on the exercycle so far), but I haven't been cooking. I haven't been making my coffee most mornings; instead, I've been buying my coffee at the cafe down the street. I've been resisting my alarm clock. Drinking much more alcohol (still in moderation - much more than practically none isn't quite cause for alarm!)
Now that my proposal is defended and my project is (mostly) approved, I can organize my time differently. Rather than cloistering myself, I can build in some time every week to see friends. I need to better plan for it so that I still cook, exercise, keep up on housework and consistently read and write.
These past few months I wrote myself To Do lists every evening to keep myself on track. Sample:
Read 2 chapters Nussbaum
Read 2 chapters MUW
Read 50 pp Golden Bowl
"Make tea" carried just as much weight as "2 chapters Nussbaum" and was just as satisfying to strike from the list. These lists were useful - rather than sit on my sofa and wonder what to do next, I simply consulted my list and did what was most appealing (or least unappealing) at the time. By the end of the evening, everything had to be accomplished, no excuses. I got a lot done this way.
I've been slacking on the list-making lately and this might account for my diminished productivity. When plans come up or change, it is difficult to put them on the list or to figure out how to restructure the list so that I can get work done and remain flexible enough to have a bit of a social life.