Pre-tenure faculty need to conserve their limited time and energy for high impact activities that matter most for tenure and promotion. Here’s how to choose professional opportunities more wisely.
Time blocking is a way of intentionally structuring your daily and weekly schedule so that specific “blocks” of time are dedicated to completing a specific task or group of tasks.
If you’re devoting a disproportionate amount of your limited time to teaching, and you are at an institution where research productivity is the most important factor in tenure and promotion decisions, you’re basically working yourself out of a job. Can we all just agree that this is not the way to go?
In my first two years on the tenure track, I worked all of the time, but usually not on the right things.
I spent way too much time on teaching, and sacrificed my evenings and weekends (and sleep) to research. I didn’t exercise, or pursue hobbies, or make friends, or eat well. I was stressed, and exhausted, and lonely. Plus, I developed a back problem from too many hours hunched over my laptop! Ouch!
I know now that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can earn tenure without working yourself into the ground. Instead of repeating my mistakes, I want to help you learn from them.