Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 30, 2021

Alexandra K. Trenfor once said, “The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” Life, especially in academic settings, is about seeking knowledge, exploring possibilities, and making our own unique discoveries. Textbook and academic authoring provides an outlet for us to share those discoveries with others to fuel their own journeys.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have some things worth looking at to see where they may fit your current and future needs as an author.

7 Time management strategies to begin, keep working on, and complete your projects

Procrastination is a term applied to putting things off until later, but what can we do about it? In a recent TAA webinar, “Seven Time Management Strategies to Begin, Keep Working On, and Complete Your Projects“, academic writing coach, editor, and author of How to Become an Academic Coach, Mary Beth Averill shared seven proven strategies for getting started, keeping at it, and finishing our projects.

While she did an excellent job providing practical advice on implementing each of the seven strategies – life management, seeing yourself as a writer, saying no, scheduling, getting started, following through, and finishing – she supported those strategies with insightful quotes from her faculty writers group that may provide bite-sized pearls of wisdom to help you begin, keep working on, and complete your projects.

Flag for follow up or dump the junk?

Are you overwhelmed by email? I know there are days that the flow of electronic information seems to be non-stop. I might not be the normal person though – but I also can’t imagine I’m the only academic who is managing more than one email account for various roles. I personally check with regularity five (yes, five) email accounts daily between my personal Gmail account, accounts for my adjunct teaching roles, and my full-time position with TAA.

Even after the SPAM filters and categorization tools inherent to the systems do their job of minimizing the amount of true “junk” that makes it through to my inbox, I am often interacting with upwards of 300-400 messages of some importance daily. So I wonder often, am I handling things effectively while trying to manage all of this electronic communication?

An academic perspective on goal tracking and time management

The focus of our most recent #AcWriChat TweetChat event was goal tracking and time management. During this event we offered a number of resources from our blog to support participants in their academic pursuits.

Common to our TweetChat events, we asked several questions to promote personal reflection and sharing of ideas. Marc Ouellette, a regular participant in these discussions shared his approaches in response. Below is a summary of our questions and his contributions from the event.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 17, 2020

Gustave Flaubert once said, “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” In textbook and academic writing, we often find this to be true as we search for the answers to research questions and work to clearly express ideas and knowledge to our readers. But, like art, writing and the writing process is unique for each author.

Our collection of articles begins with an approach that focuses on writing for yourself first and your audience second, methods to communicate research findings to the world, and the impact of COVID-19 on student research projects. We also consider the differences between part time and full time researchers and students and how the current state of the world has forced even full time faculty and researchers into a part time routine. Finally, we explore some industry concepts including the bundling of academic journal subscriptions, potential budget cuts to academic libraries, and the stories behind some scholarly publishing brand names.

Whether you’re working on putting a name to your work or carefully crafting each word that is placed on the page as you finish your most recent written masterpiece, let the art of your writing help you discover your beliefs. Happy writing!

3 Time problem areas and how to handle them

In her recent TAA webinar, “Creative Scheduling For Those Who Have ‘All of the Time in the World’ and ‘No Time At All’”, Katy Peplin identified three areas that commonly result in time problems: focus blocks, priority blocks, and scheduling blocks. If you’re having difficulty managing your time, chances are you’re dealing with one or more of these blocks.

But there’s good news. Peplin also shared specific actions that you can take to overcome each of these three blocks.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 10, 2019

Several things textbook and academic authors are never short on: commitments, obligations, things to learn, and changing landscapes. This week’s collection of articles from around the web includes them all as well.

We start with the question of why college students are sleep deprived and overextended, look at tips for building a career in scholarly communication, and what it takes to be a co-author. We then explore different strategies for writing papers, making the most of summer plans, University Journals, and interdisciplinary mentoring. Finally we explore industry changes as Wiley buys Knewton and the University of California’s decision on Elsevier.

In the words of E. L. Doctorow, “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” This week we encourage you to write, explore, and learn as you go. Happy writing!

Give yourself the flow time you need to flourish

When I’m coaching and teaching academics, I recommend that they designate and protect four kinds of time: Free, Fixed, Focus, and Flow. Previously in this series, we looked at Free timeFixed time, and Focus time. In this short article, let’s look at Flow time.

Although folks from other professions may benefit from Flow time, academics MUST have Flow time. Yet, it is the type of time you are least likely to designate and protect while doing your planning for the week, month, quarter, semester, or year.

Focus time lets you do the work you’re obligated and committed to do

When I’m coaching and teaching academics, I recommend that they designate and protect four kinds of time: Free, Fixed, Focus, and Flow. Previously in this series, we looked at Free time and Fixed time. In this short article, let’s consider Focus time.

During designated Focus time, you deliberately design your half or full day to maximize what you accomplish from your task and project list. Before the Focus time block begins, you examine your upcoming deadlines, commitments, and progress milestones and then carefully decide what you will Focus on and for about how long.