Aug 22, 2022Liked by Jenn McClearen

Many of these points are helpful. However, in my years as a professor (now full & approaching retirement), I have known quite a few necessary projects/tasks/assignments that do not bring joy but that must be done. For those, I use the time focused approach to advancing projects (and class preps): I make a list of what needs to be done. I then recast this list into small (15 minutes or less), medium (around 30 minutes) & large (1 hr or more) steps based on the time required to accomplish each step. So, on really stretched days (and yes, they are a reality and they don't always spark joy), I can do 1-2 small steps for each project and still make progress. This has worked for me over the years for many different tasks (teaching, research, & service). This then helps to carve out time for those that DO bring joy. S.A. Welch

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I think your points are so important here! Yes, we can't just toss out all the things we don't like doing. No one would ever grade, for example! :) That said, when people are in precarious places in the academy (such s trying to get a job or get tenure), we often take on way more work that we don't have to because we feel like it will give us a better shot at our goals. I'm suggesting that folks begin weeding out those things that they don't enjoy and don't have to do, or don't count as highly towards their goals. We will always have work we don't want to do. I think that's the nature of working. That said, I think your points here about timing out our schedule so you have time for things you really enjoy is such a key strategy! Thank you as always for sharing your wisdom here. I know I appreciate it and I'm sure other readers do too!

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