I have discovered an unfortunate truth: If I do not make time to think well, I will not think well. The other half of the unfortunate truth is that, as a doctoral student, thinking well is a big part of my job description.
Guidelines for Making Temporal Space
- High quality intellectual work needs time and energy, so must be planned accordingly.
- Intellectual work must fit daily life.
- Examine daily schedule and plot normal routine in hours (no larger).
- Look for open spots and claim them.
- Look for waste: if there is time for television, online games, or social media, there is time for intellectual work.
- Leave room for play, relationship, and rest.
- Intellectual work must fit one’s chronotype. (I took a test and scored as a definite morning person; this influences when I can do my best intellectual work.)
- Intellectual work must fit the type of work that needs to be done.
- Scan, quick, and study reading require ample blocks of concentration.
- High quality, creative thinking requires relaxation.
- Thoughtful, clear writing requires regular scheduled periods with bum in the seat and fingers at the keyboard.
Here in the second semester of a doctoral program, there is no time like the present for me to be intentional about making time for intellectual work.
While intellectual work is clearly part of my calling, one does not need to be a doctoral student or other academic to make the intellect a priority: God gave each of us a mind and we must put it to the best use possible.
My two major hurdles are a full schedule and time wasters.