How do you manage your time? As academics we don’t necessarily work the traditional 9-5 job. In fact, I’d argue that for most of us we work more than 40 hours a week, since we can work different hours and those grading weeks are intensive. I’ll speak to how I manage my time generally speaking. Of course, there are those triage weeks where I am really focusing on what absolutely has to get done!
My priority is teaching, so that is always the main focus at work. Everything else is secondary. Given that my job is a teaching focused position it makes sense that priority numero uno is teaching. But, I do more than teach. I also advise and mentor students and this is also important. Most weeks I would say that this is priority number two during the advising hours and emails. The next priority is my research or the book that I’m working on with two Women’s Studies colleagues.
What I do is schedule in time for my “own” work. I actually schedule this in my Outlook. I do this for numerous reasons. It’s important to note this time and frankly my colleagues on Outlook can see busy bubbles in my schedule. This ensures that I don’t get queried during my research or writing time. The other thing that I have done is more collaborative work with some of my former students. This offers a collaborative conference paper or possible publication and it’s also a mentoring project. These are shared projects that I have found fulfilling.
When I am in the midst of a busy project time (Summer), I will actually time my work and during this time I have to step away from social media ( #socmedia ) in order to stay focused on writing. I also will block in body breaks–stretching, a walk around the building or time for a snack. I know that this might sound very regimented, but it works for me. And, if you know me, you might be smiling and thinking that this sounds like something I would do!
How do you manage your time?
Making appointments in Outlook to do writing/research is an EXCELLENT idea, especially when you have a culture of using Outlook to check colleagues’ availability. I’m surprised more people don’t do this.
Also, making that appointment acknowledges that this is part of your work, not something you do “if you have time”.
Hi Jo: You know that I agree. A few years back when I got a meeting appointment I was dumbfounded and had that epiphany! So, yes, now I schedule in my time for my exercise, my work, and even my kid pick ups from school so that people see that my time is booked.