I recently taught the class, If You Do Nothing Else This Semester, that helps faculty members successfully plan their semesters.  Here is a question from one of the  participants.

“When you were discussing “calendar: designate,” I really like the idea of scheduling an appointment for grading well in advance.  It occurred to me that if I set aside time for all my regular activities this way, my schedule will look pretty full, and might end up feeling pretty rigid.  Any comments?”

Meggin’s answer:

You are exactly right – and what happens is that it gives us the big AH-HA – as in, hmm…apparently this is nearly impossible to do.  This is a common feeling once people really start blocking in everything that they think they (or know they) are going to do.

One way to have it feel a little less rigid is to set up a policy for yourself that you can move something like grading as long as there really is somewhere to move it.  So often, what we do instead is that we just jettison whatever we had if someone asks for that time because we don’t really treat it like an appointment.

For example, if I’ve blocked out writing time for a Thursday morning, but someone asks me to do something and I want to do it, then I could say yes, as long as I had somewhere else to scoot that writing time.

Being a faculty member involves an intense, unrelenting pace.  It takes a physical, mental, and emotional toll.  Yet, it can be an immensely rewarding and satisfying life, which was your idea when you chose to be a professor!  If You Do Nothing Else This Semester. will give you the strategies you need to get, and stay, organized, into this semester and beyond.

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