Time Management Tips for (All) Faculty

June 15, 2010 at 11:56 am Leave a comment

time managementWe conducted a needs assessment focus group of STEM women associate professors in Spring 2010. Results included a recommendation for the development of workshops and/or resources for time and resource management.

This month, Higher Ed Jobs published a piece entitled, Smoothing Out the Tenure Track.  It includes the following time management strategies for assistant/tenure-track faculty, which are also applicable for associate professors seeking promotion:

  • Write every day: Carve out 30-60 minutes of time every weekday to take care of your own writing needs before starting to answer e-mail and meet the needs of others. Doing this can rapidly increase productivity and ensure that papers needed for tenure evaluations are completed and published in time for your review.
  • Organize your week: Spend a few minutes on Sunday evenings getting all of your “to do” items and appointments for the week out of your head and into a calendar. If everything doesn’t fit, prioritize what needs to be taken care of that week and what can wait until later. Doing this will help you be proactive about your schedule rather than letting your commitments overtake you during the course of the week and losing time for yourself.
  • Align time and priorities: If publications comprise 60 percent of the tenure review, then spend a proportional amount of time on writing and research. Take a similar approach for teaching and service. A one-to-one match is not necessary, but it’s important to keep the proportions in mind.
  • Ask for help: Don’t be embarrassed to seek guidance if needed. If a mentor is not provided, seek one out. Connect with communities of others — whether in person or online — who are in similar positions
  • Effectively juggle life with professional obligations: Disconnect from e-mail and all other distractions when writing or conducting research
  • Line up letters of support: Go to as many conferences as possible to get your name out there.  Eventually, you will need people to write you a letter of support, and if you haven’t worked to make yourself known in the field, “you’re going to run into trouble.”

See our resources for raising your research profile for additional information.

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