New Academic Year roundup

The spiral-like nature of your academic life is particularly evident at the beginning of the academic year. No matter how experienced you are, it is always a bit chaotic. It offers the possibility of doing things better, or at least differently, this year. It is easy to approach a new year with your eyes on […]

Being available, with limits

There are all kinds of reasons why you need to be available to students outside the classroom. You have various means of enabling those students to ask questions outside of class time: Fixed hours when you are available in your office for this purpose An e-mail address where they can contact you A space in […]

Managing your workload by creating containers

One way to get some control over how much time and energy you give to certain kinds of legitimate requests is to create a container for that kind of work.

Just as it is easier to store flour if you pour it into something with firm sides and a lid (so it doesn’t just flow all over the counter), some tasks can benefit from being contained in particular time periods or particular spaces.

Focus and Distraction: self-flagellation not required

What if every time you sat down to write you were not fighting distraction and procrastination? What if you could approach your writing confidently, knowing you would be able to focus and you would move your project forward? Finding it hard to focus/getting distracted is normal. Self-flagellation does not work to improve your focus. Furthermore […]

Decisions take energy

making decisions is one of the most energy-intensive things we do as humans. Making a decision just plain takes a lot of calories. With a complex life, our brains are exhausted most days, too exhausted to make good decisions. Mark Silver A common scenario You have a sense that you should be writing regularly. You […]