This has been a somewhat odd, transitional week. Classes haven't started yet, but I started working for the semester (though I haven't had any students). Friends are around, but one's been stuck at home with back pain, and I came down with a stomach bug. I felt like embracing Valentine's Day for the first time, but A's been in England all week. It's suddenly warm out, but I've been sneezing a lot.
As a result, I haven't been the most productive. I wanted to get a decent amount of thesis reading done before classes start on Monday, but I celebrated Galentine's instead on Tuesday and then got sick, and reading theory isn't great when you're constantly queazy. I'm trying to not beat myself up over it, but I also feel like I've had enough down time and am ready to get back to business. Yet, I haven't really been having down time, either. I've been thinking about all I've read in the last week... and I've been re-reading one of my main authors' novels. I just haven't been reading the texts I set out for this week.
Productivity blues are weird to deal with, though. Unless we're writing or getting through lots of reading material, it can feel, as academics, that we're not producing much. Yet, so much of our work happens in our heads. Thinking is producing, and so often we forget that that too is something valuable. I need time to mull things over, to make sense of what I've read and to allow connections to be made as I process things after I'm immediately done with them. So I'm trying now to part with the "must! be! productive!" mindset where I get upset over the lack of concrete material. Lack of time to think and process last year helped lead to the Great Burn Out of 2016, and that's not a place I'd like to go back to.
I talked about this with my supervisor a couple of months back, and clearly, this is something that persists. So how do you deal with it? How do you squash the stubborn guilt?