Happy New Year!
Well, sort of. It seems to me that September is the time of year that those of us affiliated with academe make our new year’s resolutions. Sure, January is fun in that over-rated already-eaten-too-much-over-holidays kind of a way. But September! New courses, new faces, new shoes. And, if you’re anything like me, a new opportunity to think about what I want to accomplish. (Or, perhaps, what I did last year that I’d like to avoid…)
This is the first year that I’ll be teaching in the same city as last year, which means I have the unfamiliar luxury of familiarity. This year I don’t have to join the lines of new students to get my identification card and—happy day!—I know where all my classrooms are located. I am teaching quite a bit this year, however, and if I intend to get any writing and research of my own packed in I’ll need to be vigilant. I’ll need a plan. I’ll need New Year’s resolutions.
Limit lecture preparation time:
I’m on a teaching contract, which, for me, means I teach five days a week six half-courses a year. I’ve been known to spend a ridiculous amount of time planning lectures. While I haven’t been teaching for very long I do know that the amount of time I spend on lecture preparation is not proportionally related to how good the lecture is (or isn’t, as the case may be). Give yourself a limit and aim to stick to it.
Set a clear, prioritized time for your writing:
We all need time for our research, and yet it seems that for many of us it is the last in our list of priorities—though always, always, on our minds (even on vacation). Your research matters. Give it a minimum of 30 minutes of your time. Do it!
Stop answering your email after 6pm:
Or some time. Because after all, you do need to unplug. As one of my favorite bloggers asks, how much productive time do you spend when you’re on your computer?
Make time for eating well:
Does this really need explanation? Cooking is one of my favorite relaxations in the day. Even if it is simple fare you and your busy life need some nourishment.
Schedule time for exercise:
Whether it is walking to the office, doing 6am yoga, training for a half-marathon, or walking to the library. Movement allows kinesthetic thinking.
These are mine! What are yours?