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Bringing enough work along while travelling – a time-based approach to research

Even though I travel just about every week, I’m never very good at determining how many articles I can realistically read, or how many words I will be able to write. But I always use a time-based approach to my research. How much work can I do in the next hour? The next 30 minutes? The next 2 hours?

AcWri at the airport

So, for example, I’m currently sitting at the Atlanta Jackson-Hartfield airport, and I know I have about 15 minutes until we start boarding our plane headed to Portland (Maine). I know I can crank a blog post in less than 15 if I already know what I’m going to say.

Last night, I accompanied my Mom to a meeting. I drove and brought along enough work to keep me busy for about an hour, or 90 minutes. I figured I could skim an edited volume and write a couple of rows in my Conceptual Synthesis Excel dump. I did manage quite well.

I managed to write text for a few entries in a couple Excel dumps: the Bogartz et al 2016 sanitation for all edited volume and five articles on the anthropology of human waste.

On the Aguascalientes-Atlanta flight, I managed to finish reading the Walsh 2015 article, and write a 420 memorandum on the topic. It was a 3.5 hour flight, and I still managed to get a nap in. Then on the Atlanta-Portland, I managed to finish highlighting and reading and scribbling on the margins of the Kaplan 2007 article.

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