Productive progress 7 September

This essay is really getting me down, but I’m on the last stretch. It’s finished, proofread (first proofread, more to come) and formatted to the required standard. I just need to proofread it again and make the table in the appendix fit into the Word format now that it has 4cm margins. 4 cm all around.

And decide whether the diagrams should be the cutdown versions of the full ones, with all the Colonial Office document classes that I cut out of the essay because it was too long and they are not directly relevant to family history research anyway. I am hoping that my supervisor can advise me here.

Today I’m sorting out some client research from last Friday, reconciling my bank account and PayPal account, and planning the rest of the week.

There, I feel better already!

Last dash

Today I’m making a last dash to finish this essay. Why is it taking so long? Well, partly it’s the need to get client work done first, and volunteer work with its deadlines, partly it’s pure procrastination. And it’s a complex thing I’ve taken on. I spent most of late yesterday afternoon and evening redrawing diagrams with my shiny new flowcharting software, and checking their accuracy.

Today I’m taking the day off from work and I’m determined to finish it, or as near as dammit. This means I have to:

  • finish writing the part of the essay that explains what use the Colonial Office records are to family historians DONE
  • finish writing the part of the essay that explains the document-handling process at the Colonial Office (backed up by the diagrams) DONE, with extra diagram drawn
  • finish writing the part of the essay that explains how to find a document in the Colonial Office records filmed by the AJCP – nearly DONE (I may cut most of it out)
  • finish the diagrams to explain the process of handling correspondence at the Colonial Office and how all the classes of documents fit together – DONE
  • create a cutdown version of my spreadsheet to use as another appendix – nearly DONE
  • write a synopsis – STARTED
  • check all the citations – STARTED
  • reformat to conform to the style-sheet (double-spacing and all that)
  • general tidy-up (incorporating editing down to the maximum number of words allowed) – STARTED

Hmmm. I’d better get on with it then!

[12:53 pm] My 4000-word essay is currently 6024 words and counting, not including footnotes and bibliograpy. Something’s got to go!

[4:04 pm] I’ve started update my list (above) when items are completed. It gives me encouragement to know that I am getting somewhere!

[10:50 pm] still going. I took out the comprehensive overview bit and so removed a thousand words on records that are actually not that much use to family historians. A painful process it was, too!

Today’s challenge

I think this progressive update thing works. Today is my biggest challenge yet:

  1. I have a blocked-up headache and a sore back
  2. My cat, Zac, came home yesterday from the vet after a knee reconstruction, and is following me around and moaning at me.
  3. I need to get some client reports done but can’t get into it
  4. I could work on my Diploma essay – that seems more feasible given challenges 1 & 2.

I’ve resorted to working at the dining table so he (the cat) can see me wherever he is. The stairs are blocked so he can’t fall down them. He really wants to be outside, and we tried that because I thought he’d need to do what a cat needs to do, but he just wanted to sit and look around. Either that or asleep on my lap will do.

I’ve organised my work in the city for tomorrow. So that’s one for me!

Zac has found the sunny spot in the spare bedroom, so there’s hope for me yet!

[hours later] I did manage to work out the final structure of the essay and fix som citations, but not much else.

I also visited my sister’s place and talked to two of my nieces. Wonderful girls, both of them!