Data Collection, Experimentation, + Scheduling Blocks... Oh My!

Data Collection, Experimentation, + Scheduling Blocks... Oh My!

A few weeks ago I opened up a work email from the Textbook and Academic Authoring Association (TAA) prompting me to sign up for a webinar titled “Creative Scheduling For Those Who Have ‘All of the Time in the World’ and ‘No Time At All.’” I was intrigued by the title and even more surprised when I opened up the email and saw that the presenter was Dr. Katy Peplin of ThrivePhD, who I follow on instagram! Since I’m still quite new to the academic blogging scene, I haven’t had many instances of overlap between my blogging life and my professional life (granted, my blog is all about my professional life, so they are bound to collide at some point!).

Read More

The Master Plan vs. Reality

The Master Plan vs. Reality

I posted two screenshots on instagram today. One of my grading plan for Tuesday and another of what actually happened. A fellow academic mama commented and asked if I edit my calendar as the day goes by to reflect what actually happens, noting that this would be a super helpful strategy for visualizing how much time things actually take vs. a potentially overly optimistic estimation of how long they will take! It’s funny, because I don’t know that I was even thinking of this as a strategy I use to help me plan, but it definitely is (and I did it without realizing it). So, thank you dontworryteach for making this explicit!

Read More

Planning Series: My Daily Planning Process

Planning Series: My Daily Planning Process

I’m ending the planning series with a look at how I plan out each day. Here are all the links to the previous posts from this series: my yearly intention, yearly goals, quarter planning, to do list, and weekly planning. Usually each day of my work week is highly structured and I leave the weekends open (other than events that are scheduled for specific times). Since I’ve already done the work to schedule tasks for each day during my weekly planning session, I don’t actually have that much to do for daily planning besides reviewing my schedule and adjusting as needed (e.g., if something else comes up that needs to get done or I finish something quicker than expected).

Read More

Planning Series: How I Plan My Week

Planning Series: How I Plan My Week

So far I’ve talked about my yearly intention, yearly goals, quarter planning, and to do list. These are all pretty high level endeavors. Weekly (and daily) planning are where the work actually happens. Ideally, I plan for the upcoming week on Friday at the end of the day. In reality, I’m often so exhausted by that time that I don’t have it in me. Occasionally I’ll do it on Sunday, but usually I don’t want work to intrude on weekend decompression. More often than not, I plan for the week on Monday morning. Here’s what my process currently looks like.

Read More

Planning Series: How I Plan my Quarter

Planning Series: How I Plan my Quarter

During my yearly planning process I outline when I’d like to achieve each of the goals that I set for the year. This gives me a rough timeline for the term, which makes planning pretty straightforward. My university is on the quarter system, so I have fall, winter, spring, and summer to plan for. I usually create my fall term plan a week or so before the term starts. Then, I’ll create my winter and spring plans during winter break. Because we don’t have a ton of time between winter and spring terms, it ends up being easier to plan everything right before winter term starts. Because I’m technically off contract during the summer, I make my plan once summer has started and I’ve given myself a little bit of a breather from the end of the school year.

Read More

Planning Series: Yearly Goals

Planning Series: Yearly Goals

Once I have my intention set for the year, I move on to goal setting, which gets a lot more specific. As I mentioned in the intention setting post, I typically do this exercise at the end of the summer or the very beginning of fall term, but this could easily be done at the end of the calendar year (or whenever you want!). If I’ve planned far enough in advance, I might devote a luxurious full day to dreaming up all the things I want to do in the coming year and what that might look like, a little personal retreat, if you will. I find that it’s a nice way to start the school year and gets me excited for what’s to come.

Read More

Planning Series: Start with an Intention for the Year

Planning Series: Start with an Intention for the Year

I think any conversation about planning should begin with setting an intention for the year. Just so we’re on the same page, here’s what I’m thinking when I use the word intention: “a determination to act in a certain way.” How do you want your year to go? How do you want it to feel? What do you want to focus on? What do you want it to do for you?

Read More

Scheduling Basics

Scheduling Basics

In my last post I shared a random daily schedule. Today I thought I’d share some basic principles that I try to keep in the forefront of my mind when I’m thinking about how the work day/week will play out. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it does serve as a nice foundation on which my work schedule (and to some extent our personal schedule) is created.

Read More