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Rick A. Bevins, Ph.D. / Developing and Maintaining Productive Professional Timelines: Notes from a Rat Runner.

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Presentation on theme: "Rick A. Bevins, Ph.D. / Developing and Maintaining Productive Professional Timelines: Notes from a Rat Runner."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rick A. Bevins, Ph.D. / Developing and Maintaining Productive Professional Timelines: Notes from a Rat Runner

2 The Juggling Act Establishing/maintaining research program Paper work to maintain compliance Prep for classes Teach classes Office hours Answer s Advising Meetings Mentoring students Training personnel Writing paper Reviewing manuscripts Service duties Travel Submitting and presenting conference presentations etc.

3 Balance all this and complete a major task

4 Avoid being stretched too thin & Tackle the Time-sink Monster

5 Strategies in a University Setting Pay attention to how you spend your time Look for efficiencies - - handle each piece of paper once (applies to ) - layout of office - keep things filed (avoid searching) - apply to home Develop routines - good for repetitive tasks - consistency (context effects) - encourages organization - also applies to home (Nb. avoid splitting)

6 Parkinson's Law "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion“ Cyril Parkinson (1957) NASA

7 Strategies in a University Setting Explicitly set time aside - each day (or at least each week; paragraph per day) - writing, reading, thinking, exercising - this means rewards too Identify and utilize your peak times - morning person - writing, ignoring s, etc. Also utilize your trough times - read & answer - schedule meetings (office hours) Use idle time - waiting in administrator’s or doctor’s office - smart phones (time sink or not) - 10 min before faculty meeting

8 Strategies in a University Setting Other ways to find/protect time - learn to say NO! (gently; use chair or mentor) - triage (recognize & avoid time sinks) - avoid/control interruptions (includes your own) e.g., twitter, pop-in meetings (stand up, no chair, 5 min) - delegate (be grateful & courteous) - Ignorance can be bliss (website, faxing, populating grant pages) Getting the tasks accomplished - prioritize - start early (don’t procrastinate) life rule: “things take longer than they do” - set realistic deadline and keep it - structure to facilitate keeping deadline (ms. reviews)

9 Strategies in a University Setting Make use of mentors, colleagues, & friends Paws to celebrate accomplishments and successes Chunk large tasks - manageable units (sub-deadlines) - accomplish sequentially - make progress even in trough (forms/cover letter) - least desirable part first (I don’t buy it)

10 Strategies in a University Setting Work/Life balance


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