Substitutions and inversions: Daly. Delay. Daily.


Unfortunately, Mark Daly had to cancel yesterday’s scheduled seminar. Delays due to unforseen events are inevitable. Hopefully Mark’s seminar can be re-scheduled for another time.


More frustrating, and personally disappointing, are those delays that I could have avoided. I’ve been delayed in writing today’s entry by a scurge that affects all academics and researchers that I know, correspondence in the form of email and other messengers (such as Slack). I had plans this morning to write my 20-minute entry and then grab a coffee at 10am. It was 11am before I even got started on this, coffee was cancelled, and I’m now distracted by the content of the emails rather from what I plan to get done today.

Could I have avoided this? Yes, by not checking my email/Slack before I did my first task for the day. As I read somewhere, email is too often a todo list for you made by others. I need to create and stick to my own todo list.

I don’t like multitasking. I know I’m bad at it. I need to block out chunks of time to work on individual tasks. This morning, before I knew it, I’d gone from order to disorder. My computer had gone from having nothing open but a text editor to having open multiple webpages, old emails, and documents in order to respond to this morning’s emails. My mind had gone from a straightforward plan for the morning to worrying that the day was already getting away from me. How to fix this?


‘A routine is in order!’, I think. Closely followed by, ‘Routine is stagnation’. I’ve had this Gollum-like debate many a time. But by committing to write each day, I’ve already recognisised that routine is what I need. Slowly but surely.