I have that thing all PhD students hate and fear to speak of, that is, a submission goal. I aim to submit my thesis no later than October 2009.
This means that until then I’m doing the same thing I did in my honours year in 2003: cutting back on random accumulated cruft in my life. That includes but is not limited to volunteering for committees, talks and organising events. It will definitely mean less time shooting the breeze on IRC or IM: I intend to try and be on them only when I have something to accomplish. I’ll cut blog subscriptions and twitter/identi.ca subscriptions back shortly too. I’d cut mailing lists, but my mailing list subscriptions never actually made it back from 2003/2004.
I’ll probably also be trying to cut down on social and semi-social commitments: as I’ve said elsewhere the number of them this year has been staggering. (You’re lovely people, all of you.) And exhausting: I can’t keep getting home after midnight three or four nights a week. I don’t intend to crawl into a hole, far from it, but I need to rediscover the joys of introversion, and not having my evening scheduled military style. So if you see me saying no to your things, that’s what’s going on.
If I’ve already volunteered for something with a firm scope, I am still doing it unless you hear otherwise. If it doesn’t have a firm scope, I’ll be in touch to firm it up. If I haven’t volunteered, I’m not hugely likely to. Not this year.
Incidentally, I’m not sharing this for accountability’s sake. If I need someone to sit on me and make me finish my PhD, I already have a mother. And you can be sure that she’ll be sufficiently displeased on your behalf if she does have to do that: she never spent much time making me do my homework before.