One of the things I plan to do on the regular is share what I’m working on each week, progress made, and challenges faced. I do this for myself, so why not add some additional accountability? Below you’ll find the main projects I spent my time on during the week, divided into 5 areas: research, teaching/advising, service/admin, meetings, and personal. There are lots of other things on the back burner or that I don’t need to actively attend to this week, so you won’t see them here - keeping them on my weekly list just creates more chaos! Here’s the first installment... more later on the planning process that goes on behind the scenes.
Here’s a broad overview of what this week looked like.
Monday (at home): Worked out at the gym in the morning (6:30am) before Ellie got up. Mike got up and worked on bookshelves he’s building, then made breakfast. Went to Ellie’s 2.5 year check up in the morning, all is well! Work focused on 2 main projects (systematic review and search committee work). Evening routine is usually as follows: Mike makes dinner while Ellie & I play or watch a show, we all eat, bath (sometimes), PJs on, books, brush teeth, bedtime for Ellie. After Ellie’s in bed we finish cleaning up and either head to bed ourselves if we’re getting up early, or stay up for another hour or so. Today I stayed up for ~30 minutes more, paying bills and doing other random housekeeping stuff online. In bed around 10:15ish.
Tuesday (at home): Got up around 6:00ish to do some blog work before Ellie got up, while Mike worked on the bookshelves and then made breakfast. For work, I focused on the same 2 projects from yesterday (systematic review and search committee work), finishing them up. Added a walk to our evening routine. In bed around 10:15ish again.
Wednesday (campus): Up around 6:00 to work on the blog and do a workout at home from fitnessblender. Caught the train to campus after getting dropped off by Mike and Ellie. Worked on a revise & resubmit and course prep, also had office hours, a check-in with a student, and a phone check-in with a collaborator. Mike and Ellie picked me up from the train around 6 which was followed by our usual evening routine. Ellie took a late nap so she wasn’t in bed until about 10. We went to bed around 11.
Thursday (home): Usually try to get to the gym on Thursday mornings but given the later bed time I opted for more sleep. Worked on two revise and resubmits and course prep. Did our December budget in the evening and then worked on the blog. In bed ~12:00am.
Friday (campus/home): Nothing in the morning given the late bed time. Caught the train to campus for a meeting. Made a spur of the moment decision to finish the work day at home. Spent the rest of the day on the revise and resubmit and course prep. Went over to a friends for dinner and stayed until 10:30pm (Ellie napped until 5:15pm). Mike and I didn’t make it to bed until 1:30am, ugh!
Saturday/Sunday: A pretty relaxed weekend. I went to an olympic lifting class at the gym, we went grocery shopping, took walks, lots of playing, did laundry, Mike worked on the bookshelves. We contemplated being social but then decided against it because we didn’t feel like leaving the house!
Revise & resubmit (R&R) #1: I’m the lead on an R&R that’s due in mid-December. I’ve already spent time organizing reviewer feedback, making general notes about how we might address comments, and sharing this with co-authors. My goal for this week was to finish a rough draft of the revised manuscript so it’s in good enough shape to send to co-authors by 12/5. Goal met? It’s rough, but it’s done, better than nothing! There’s something about revisions to the intro/discussion that just make me want to drag my feet... breaking things down into teeny tiny steps helped me get some momentum going (like… open up word doc (✓), read 1 reviewer comment (✓), free write first reactions to comment (✓)…) . Also, note to self… attempting to write on a Friday afternoon is almost impossible.
R&R #2: This wasn’t initially on my list for the week so there’s no goal that goes with it. Mid-week I heard from a co-author requesting feedback on another paper before we resubmit next week. For some reason I thought the R&R wasn’t due until January, so I didn’t have anything blocked off in my calendar. Luckily I had some padding in my schedule on Thurs and was able to adjust.
Systematic review: I’m working on a systematic review and right now we’re reviewing titles/abstracts. My goal for this week was to review the remaining 1,600 titles (and abstracts for the one’s that weren’t obviously relevant from their title) for inclusion in the review. I had a check-in with my collaborator on Wednesday, so I really wanted to get these done by the time we met. Goal met? Yep, and… Oh. My. Goodness. Let’s just say, it’s a good thing I really enjoy this topic (it’s related to postpartum quality of life, go figure) because reviewing reference after reference after reference is incredibly tedious. When all was said and done it took me about 9 hours to get through them all.
Course prep (x4): Currently (i.e., fall term), I’m not teaching, only advising. However, I’m doing lots of prep for the four classes I’ll be teaching across winter and spring. During winter term I’m teaching a research methods course, 1 online section and 1 condensed 4 session section. I taught the condensed version last year but haven’t taught the online version yet. While I’m not completely starting from scratch there is a fair amount of prep that goes into making an online course your own. In spring I’m teaching an online human development course and a stats class (condensed 4 session format). I taught both of these last year so prep feels much nicer; however, I am attempting to make some significant changes in the human dev class (e.g., doing away with the text in favor of open edu resources) so there’s more to it than just changing dates. Since there is a lot to do, I typically set time goals for each course instead of specific tasks I want to get done. My goals for the week were to spend a minimum of 1 hour on the online research course, a minimum of 30 minutes on the condensed research course, a minimum of 30 minutes on the stats class, and a minimum of 30 minutes on the human development course. Goal met? Yep. I totaled about 3 hours on the online research course, 2.5 hours on the online human development course, and a little over 30 minutes for both of the condensed courses.
Advising: I carry an advising load of students, holding office hours and answering program related questions. My goals for the week were to follow up with a student about a question and also respond to any email/drop in questions as they came up or add them to the to-do list for next week. Goal met? Yes… light week given the time of year.
service + admin
Search committee: I’m serving on a committee for a search this year. My goal for this week was to review the remaining applicants before our search meeting. Goal met? Yep!
Planning: A given every week, I prefer to do it the week before, either Friday afternoon if there’s time, or Sunday afternoon. My goal for the week was to plan for the following week. Goal met? Yes - on Friday afternoon, because I couldn’t bring myself to keep writing!
Emails: I joke (sadly) that being a professor is 99% responding to emails… Generally speaking, I only check email at certain times of the day, and do my best to keep it contained to those times. If there’s anything that I can’t answer during one of my designated email times I add it to the list. I don’t really set goals in this area, but just make note of anything I need to send out. This week I had 1 pre-Thanksgiving email I wanted to attend to. After giving it a second look I decided it could wait until the break, so it’s on the back burner for now.
Light meeting week!
Meetings: ✓office hours (x2), ✓collaborator check-in, ✓student check-in, ✓search committee meeting, ✗pedagogy group - cancelled, ✗multiracial employee resource group - wasn’t on campus when they met so I wasn’t able to attend
I’m not as detailed about my personal projects so there’s less here. This is what I’m keeping track of at the moment.
Workouts: Goal: 4 workouts Goal met: Not quite! Got 3 in this week.
Toddler on the Tenure Track: Goal: Have first 2 posts up and running. Get 5 more posts ready to go. Goal met? Yes to getting the first 2 posts up (plus one more!). No to getting 5 more posts ready to go. They’re all good solid drafts but not done yet.
Meditation: I’ll preface this with the fact that I am very much a beginning meditator! I was doing so well about a month ago, consistently meditating for at least 10 minutes a day, but then I got off track… so I’m resetting, and setting the bar low! Goal: 5 minutes every other day Goal met? Yes! I really notice a difference in, well, everything when I do some kind of meditation. Once I got into a rhythm this week I just wanted to do more! I’ve been digging guided meditations (particularly the quick one’s by Sarah Blondin on Insight Timer) and managed to do at least one (sometimes 2, once even 3) a day this week.
Budget: ✓Set up December budget
Health: ✓Ellie’s well check up. ✓Schedule check up for myself.
Last week I was feeling so scattered and overwhelmed by all of the things that need to get done (or that I think need to get done) before winter term starts… which usually means I need to dial it back and move some projects to the side (no I do not need to submit another 2 articles by January). It also usually means that I’m not consistently exercising, sleeping well, or meditating (which has absolutely been true). Definitely felt less scattered/overwhelmed this week, which I attribute to the more consistent workouts/meditation, plus having some big chunks of time where I could cross some big things off my list (reviewing the 1,600 references and applications). Sleep, while not terrible, could be better. Ellie’s been on a later schedule which means we’re on a later schedule. Being up until ~1:30am on Friday night and 1:00am on Saturday night certainly isn’t helping things! Despite the sleep, it was a pretty good week, got done what I had hoped to get done and took time for myself. I’m curious to see if I can keep up this general feeling of calm once I’m back in the classroom next term.