The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Mental gymnastics

Despite my recent attempts to cut my workload, I seem to find myself juggling work on four different projects at the same time at the moment! Actually, it's not as bad as it sounds as a couple of them are very small bits of work and the others can be divided up into smallish chunks. That suits me quite well when I'm trying to keep down to just three or four working hours a day - I can manage a chunk of day and don't get quite as tempted to just plough on as I might do with work on a longer term project.

The tricky bit though is switching from job to job and remembering what you're meant to be doing, especially as each of the four are at quite different levels; pre-intermediate editing, upper intermediate reviewing, CAE corpus research and IELTS consultation! As I say, although I try and work on only one project in any one day, inevitably, emails come in from various different sources which need to be read and replied to, then they trigger off different thoughts and ideas which end up as mental background noise.

Of course, back in the days when I was teaching, I'd happily go from a class of beginners to an advanced level Proficiency group with no more than a 10-minute break for a quick slurp of coffee and a fight with the photocopier in-between times and think nothing of it! Although, perhaps it's easier to make the switch when you've got real students sitting in front of you rather than doing it as an abstract exercise in front of a computer screen.

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