Currently, I am on sabbatical from my job. When you are given a sabbatical it is not necessarily a time of great rest and relaxation, but a time to work and focus on a larger project that you haven’t been able to get to over the past couple of years.
The problem for me is that I like the structure of my work environment. I have a specific work schedule, my office full of resources, my students, and my colleagues to help motivate me. On my sabbatical, it is just me. And when it is just me I am prone to some laziness. I feel really guilty about this laziness, but lazy nonetheless. For example, sometimes I won’t get up until 10 and instead of working I will go to a movie or do something that is non-sabbatical related.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten some work done. I have. Perhaps, I should also give myself a break because we just bought a house, I primarily moved us in, set up the house. We also lost our dog during this time, etc.
So I have been feeling a bit unproductive, but two weeks ago we got a new dog named Spooner.
Because I am home all day I have been the one primarily taking him for walks, etc while my wife works during the day. However, we also know that when we both start up working our normal schedules again next year that Spooner will be alone a good chunk of the day.
So for the past two weeks, I have been attempting to get Spooner and I back on a more “normal” schedule. We will go for a walk in the early morning. I will come home and instead of going back to bed I begin my work day by making a list of all of things I need to do that day and set out to accomplish those tasks.
Over the past two weeks, while I am still slow to progress a great deal on my sabbatical project (it has been replaced by some other endeavors) I have gotten a ton of small things done by creating this specific schedule.
So not only is our new dog cute as a button, but because I know we have to get him on a regular schedule he has forced me to become much more productive in the morning and get me back to my regular schedule. Spooner just may have saved my sabbatical. But even if he did it, he certainly is worth getting up for.