Friday, January 07, 2011


Jonathan posted some good ideas about "the structure of the writing session" yesterday. On Monday, in the comments to the post on the New Year's Challenge, I answered Matt's question about planning work on multiple projects by suggesting he could just divide up the writing session—one hour for project A, two for project B. This raises questions about what some people might disparage as "micro-management", i.e., managing your work down to the smallest details, "minute by minute", if you will. Some people find that oppressive.

But keep in mind that micro-management is a term of derision for how managers treat subordinates. It is only when someone else takes too detailed an interest in how you do your work, task by task rather than result by result, that we should rightly feel oppressed, mismanaged. There is nothing wrong with taking a detailed interest in your own organization of work. Be as detailed as you need to be to get things done.

As always, my suggestions only work if you (a) are not satisfied with your writing process as it is and (b) if you interpret my suggestions to suit your particular needs and abilities. I am not saying that you have to work exactly this way or that you're doing something "wrong" if you don't. I am not your manager; I am your consultant. I'm suggesting that you think about your work in a particular way and (almost) promising you that this will improve your performance and general enjoyment of life.

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In other news, we've been having a very engaging discussion over at OrgTheory this week about the place of postmodernism in sociological theory. I'll write a post about it soon to get my own ideas in order. Blog debates are unruly things, but they really do offer a good occasion to see what you think by forcing you to say it in more or less real time. It seems that I've got some thinking to do about my position on social "science", which turns out to be a bit more radical than I normally let on. Something similar happened last month at a workshop on "affect" in social theory.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

That's a good debate. I've joined in myself.