6 Ways to take control of your day

jugglingIn her TAA webinar, “The Academic Juggle: Managing Your Writing in a World of Commitments”, Dr. Jane Jones, an academic editor and consultant at Up In Consulting, shared the following six strategies for taking back control of your day, reducing the overwhelm, and feeling more accomplished professionally.

1) Track your time. Take inventory of your daily activities. You may find that you spend too much time on activities with lower return or that you have long stretches of time throughout the day that are unaccounted for. [Read more…]

The Academic Juggle: Managing Your Writing in a World of Commitments – TAA Webinar 11/9

Jane JonesDo you ever feel like you’re working on a million tasks at once, but not making progress on any of them? As an academic, it’s likely that you are juggling multiple commitments and projects. Even the most determined of us can find ourselves overwhelmed at the scope of our responsibilities. If you find yourself struggling to keep track of your writing amidst all your other professional obligations, you’ll want to join us Thursday, November 9 from 3-4 p.m. ET for the TAA webinar, “The Academic Juggle: Managing Your Writing in a World of Commitments”, presented by Dr. Jane Jones, academic editor and productivity coach at Up In Consulting. [Read more…]

Time management step 4: Dealing with setbacks

"When the mind is convinced that it has targets to hit, goals to meet and destiny to reach, temporal setbacks become another resting space for a paradigm shift in fortifying the will to win." ~Gladys AdeveySo you’ve done everything right. You’ve cleared time in your busy schedule by identifying the activities that didn’t move you forward. You set long-term goals that were SMART – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-specific. You filled the newly available time slots with productive habits that push you in the direction of your goals. You even found ways to make the most of your time.

But…things don’t always go as planned.

So now what? [Read more…]

Time management step 3: Making the most of the time you have

"Work/life balance is not about escaping work. It's about living exactly the way you want to when you're at work." ~Stan Slap525,600 minutes. A fixed amount of time each of us is given to accomplish all that we can in a given year. Time is unstoppable. Time is inevitable. But time is yours. So it’s important to make the most of it.

So far in this series, we have explored ways to prioritize activities and to align the things we choose to do with our time with the goals we have for our lives. In this article, we will examine ways to make minor adjustments to get even more out of the scarce amount of time available while maintaining a balance to life that improves efficiency and increases satisfaction with our writing practices. [Read more…]

Time management step 2: Planning for success

"Goals are dreams with a deadline." ~Napoleon HillIn the first article in this series, Time management step 1: Having time to manage, we acknowledged the fixed amount of time each of us have to work with in a day, month, or year. We then took inventory of how that time was being used and explored ways to cut costly, less profitable activities from the list to make room for other things that can bring us closer to our goals.

In this article, we will discuss ways to reallocate this newly found time in ways that align with a happier, healthier, and successful life. [Read more…]

Time management step 1: Having time to manage

Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time.' is like saying 'I don't want to.' ~Lao TzuOne thing’s for certain. You can’t manage time that you don’t have.

Many people look at their busy, cluttered schedule and want for more hours in a day, more days in a week, or more weeks in a year. Unfortunately time is a constant. We each have the same 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 52 weeks in a year. Time exists for all of us, but most of us have given it away and don’t know how to get it back!

So before we talk about how to manage your time, we must first discuss how to free your time. [Read more…]

For academics: Are your kids growing up without you?

Work Life BalanceYou were probably thrilled beyond words (mono- and polysyllabic) when your kids were born and you witnessed the true miracle of those so-young lives. The kids grew older, and you hunkered down into your academic career. Maybe your feelings changed—you don’t love them any less, but you may see the children as distracters and interrupters of your work. After all, we have important completions of all the conference abstracts, articles, books, chapters, dissertations, even the course syllabi. And we need to finish all these projects for advancement.

Granted, children can be annoyances and disrupters. Most of the time, though, barring a fall from the tree house, they are bothering you because they want—no, crave—your attention. [Read more…]

For academics: What to do when your partner wails, ‘I never see you anymore!’

Work Life BalanceWhen you’re furrowed-brow deep in your academic project, and your partner suddenly blurts out “I never see you anymore!” it’s time to stop, look, and close your computer. After such outbursts, many of my academic clients with partners in my coaching and editing practice have found ways to manage the complaints and restore a harmonious home. Here are some of the major methods clients have used as they pursue the (successful) productions of articles, presentations, chapters for a volume, and dissertations. [Read more…]

6 Techniques to jumpstart writing efficiency and productivity

Vintage typewriterIn our writing projects—dissertation, article, book, presentation—after the first brilliant idea or paragraphs of exhilarated creation, our enthusiasm may turn to mud. From my own experiences with tortured writing and those of my academic coaching and editing clients, I recommend the following six techniques, with credible rationales, to help you work more efficiently and write more productively.

1) Make Separate Files

As simplistic as it seems, start by making separate files for each part of the work—prefatory pages, introduction, chapters, sections, reference list, appendices. Refer to your university handbook, journal specs, or publisher’s requirements to construct your file in the correct format. If a template is provided, use it. Later, you’ll combine all files for the finished work. [Read more…]

Join us 11/18 for the TAA webinar ‘Becoming a Productive Writer: Strategies for Success’

Rachael CayleyWhy does it seem like there’s never enough time to write? One of the key challenges of academic life is balancing the many demands on our time; while writing is generally key to professional success, finding time to write is consistently challenging. Most academics realize that they need to protect their writing time but still struggle to do so. Rather than seeing not-writing as a simple failure, it can be helpful to see it as a reflection of the inherent difficulties of writing and time management.

Join us Friday, November 18 from 12-1 p.m. ET for the TAA webinar, “Becoming a Productive Writer: Strategies for Success,” where presenter Rachael Cayley, who blogs at Explorations of Style and tweets at @explorstyle, will discuss how and why academic writing is so hard and look at some strategies for establishing a productive writing practice.
[Read more…]