A Progress Report and Reflections on Time

March 28, 2012 in Afternoon, Communication, Editing, Home, Project Work, Writing

In the afternoon, after wrangling with Drupal, thinking through user interface issues, and trying out some different designs (made much easier by Drupal, Panels, and the Omega theme engine), I turned to the semi-annual progress report due in a few days for my NEH SUG project. Not a lot of fun, but it was heartening, when looking back over the original proposal and what I ended up reporting, to see that, yes, we are on track and, in many areas, are not only ahead of schedule, but have gone beyond the proposed functionality.

When I wrote the initial proposal, I thought that I was purposefully overestimating the amount of time it would take to do everything, just to be on the safe side. Instead, it turns out that I was almost spot on. And this was knowing that projects always take much longer than you think. Scary thought.

I’ve also experienced, while working on Bibliopedia, the pressures Tanya Clement noted about being a mother and doing DH. I’m a father and, until very recently, was the primary care-giver for my two boys. My wife had to work to help support our family while I’ve been in graduate school, which cut even further into the time I had each day. Instead of the nice 8-12 hour blocks I once had, way back when first starting my MA, I’ve been getting by on 2-3 hour blocks every morning. Another lesson in time management and the need for steady, incremental progress. But maybe that pattern is ultimately more sustainable than the crushing, never-ending days of work that I suspect many of my colleagues undertake.

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