The pressure is on. I have a big grant deadline in...gulp...three weeks. And I'll let you in on my shameful secret...I haven't started writing. Well, revising, really, its a resubmission. But a substantial amount of re-writing is required. And none of it is done. Its a "career development" grant, so it also requires letters of recommendation and mentorship letters...all of which I'm expected to "draft" (i.e. write) and I haven't done those either.
The thing is, I just haven't been able to carve out the time to work on this. I'm doing a lot of experiments for preliminary data, some of which are quite promising and should strengthen the application (yeah!), but they are worthless unless I have a well-written proposal in which to showcase them. But the bulk of my time is spent in meetings, clinical duties, and other projects that just HAPPEN to be coming to a head at the same exact time (and you can't put off live human or murine subjects for your convenience). So my work days are full.
That leaves the rest of my time, my "free" time. Evenings and weekends, early mornings. But after getting home & taking care of dinners, bedtime, & chores from 6-9pm, I'm done. I've tried working and just can't get anything substantial accomplished. I could probably push through late nights & less sleep for a couple of days, but sleep deprivation for days/weeks is not feasible for me and would probably backfire as I'd be less productive during the day. Plus I'd be a total bitch.
Weekends are even more impossible these days. It is really hard for either of us to manage both boys on our own...they are just both at a very difficult physical and emotional stage. So we try to stay together as much as possible. Yes, G could give me some time to work if I asked for it, but it would require a level of forethought and planning I haven't yet applied to the problem.
But the grant isn't going to write itself, and hours aren't magically going to appear in my day so I need a strategy. I've come up with a few options and I'll see what works best:
a) 8:30-9:30 PM weekdays. this would involve cleaning up & making lunches AS we're eating dinner, but may be doable most days. Also I am pretty braindead at night.
b) 5-6AM weekdays. if I go to bed at 9 or 10 I should be able to get up and mornings are a good time for me to focus. its just so disgustingly early. And sometimes L wakes up before 6. Its a crap shoot. I'd hate to get up and settle into work and have to feed him breakfast instead (if I'm still in bed, I can roll over and let G take care of it)
c) 2 hour time slots on the weekend. this could work but needs to be very carefully & specifically planned & re-planned and reminded about for it to actually happen. Ideally this time would be in the morning or late afternoon (times that are better for me, motivation-wise). Having time right after lunch would be stupid, for example, I'm in a big slump then & I generally avoid intellectual work.
Any other ideas? Inspiring stories of grants written in 5 days and funded? Time Turner I can borrow?