I unofficially measure how busy and pulled in every direction I am by the daily number of almosts.

Here is an example: I get an email from a student, decide what I will write back, maybe even draft it, then get pulled away by another email, or one of my kids needing something, or having to cook dinner, or having to go teach my class, and the almost email falls off the radar and never gets sent, because it was almost written and almost sent, and the brain almost considers it done.

Or I finally (finally!) set aside a few hours to work on the revision of a paper, and maybe I get to do that for a bit, but then I get called away by a service task/email/children and, before you know it, my block of time is gone, other urgent stuff has flown in, and it may be days or even weeks before I have another large-enough slot where I can finish the activity.

I like being busy, but I’m also big on “touching things only once” and constant distractions during the semester are my kryptonite.

Not sure where I was going with this, because I almost finished it, then fell asleep in my chair, and now…ugh.


  1. Email is the realm of Satan; I am an addict. All I have to do is click the little x (and silence my phone) and it will leave me alone for a time…alas, I cannot.

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