At the workshop in Bergen, I mentioned the importance of the status bar, and how positioning the World of Warcraft status bar in a very visible spot, split it into small boxes and keep it functioning after level 60 by making it useful for tracking reputation, is a stroke of genius. I find myself going: "Let me just kill 10 more furbolgs and fill out that next box on the status bar," while I am really totally utterly bored with what I am doing. Justin claimed, tongue in cheek, that he has a status bar at the bottom of Word, but hey, he was not that far off! We do keep counting pages, after all. It's also the same as I do with the stacks of papers which need to be marked: by moving the papers from one stack to the next, I can track the progress visually while grinding, eh, grading.
Returning from some months of research/writing grind to the grind of teaching and administration, I felt dissatisfied with my progress at all levels, both what I have written and what I need to teach. Today I sat down and tracked my progress in a way which could be visualised. I have a book I write "things to do" in, and I love stroking out what I have done. Guilt has however kept me from using it, and looking at the book on my desk just made me feel worse. I went and bought stars and other stickers, then I bravely opened the book to see if I could line out at least one thing and reward myself a gold star.
Now I have a lot of stars all over the front of the book! I have been so good! The book of work to come is back in a prominent position, shiny with proof of how efficient I am even if I don't notice it, and more stickers are just waiting to decorate the front. I have fantasies about the epic look it will have when both front and back are COVERED with stickers.
Childish? Yes, but at least now I am giggling with the silliness of it all, and not moping at my own self-destructive behaviour.