grade now, get coffee
Blog-reader Lenny made a comment
recently about how to stay disciplined, attached to my post where I whined about slogging through a Graham Greene novel
. Here's the key: rewards! I am very, very rewards-oriented.
- if I get through the novels before the semster starts, I'll be that much ahead and will do better in my courses because I'll have read the books twice
- if I get through the novels for my courses, I can read the novels I have here for "fun"
- if I read some pages, I can watch the basketball game
- if I get my work done in the evening and don't have to play catch up in the morning, then I can go to the gym
- if I go to the gym at least three times during the week, I can go to the diner once on the weekend
- when working on a really big project at my job, of the type that requires us to be up for like a week on end and thus screws up our internal clocks and doesn't allow us to do things like go to the grocery store, I sometimes get cake. Seriously. Last year or the year before, we were working on something and I was so tired and running on adrenaline and running out of sugar and I said to my friends (who also happen to be my bosses), "I just want...cake!" and Mary baked me some cakes. Good ol' white cake with frosting from a tub. Mmmm! It made me very happy.
- when I was working with Voldemort, every day started with "what's the reward?" and the reward would be either going out to eat at night or taking a multiple-hour break and wandering off to coffee (or liquor, depending on the time of day), or something like that...the point being that every day started with "what's the reward?"
- and right this very minute, while I am grading exercises, I really have to finish this one but I really, really want to go get coffee (although I have coffee here, going to get a latte provides more coffee as well as a chance to see other humans, which is also good for one's well-being, even if they are just the baristas). So, since I know I have to finish grading the exercise, and I'm almost done with that (it's not unheard of for me to write 500-750 words or more as a response to an exercise), sbux becomes a reward. Finish grading the exercise and I can get sbux! Then come back and grade the other four that are sitting there, but I'll have had coffee and thus can't complain.
Discipline for me comes from a system of rewards. [You'd think "do your work and get paid" would work, but it really doesn't. I have to have separate rewards.]