Finding time to write: Important, yes! Impossible, no! Reviewing your student assignment practices

The best insurance policy for success in academe is to write (and publish) your work. Yet, you say, where or where do I find the time to write, especially with all the feedback and grading I have to do?

This article is the first in a four-part series focused on finding hidden pockets of time for your own writing. This article will reflect on one aspect of your teaching practice: the assignments you have students complete.

What happens when you hand out your syllabus in that first face-to-face class? The students breeze past your well-crafted course description, clearly written objectives, and inspiring teaching philosophy to one place in the syllabus—the assignments.

UPS, FedEx, and You: Goal setting by deliverables

The beginning of a new academic year is a great time to set intentions and think about goals. Goal setting can seem arbitrary or ambiguous, particularly for large projects that take months or years to complete. What if you thought about your goals in terms of the final product of a semester? Deliverables. Deliverables are the concrete items you will deliver to yourself or others at the end of a period.

Spring Your Writing Forward: Get a Month of Motivation in April

Accomplish your academic writing goals by focusing on two areas of academic writing that many authors tend to struggle with – isolation and accountability – with TAA’s new Month of Motivation program.

To combat the challenges associated with personal goal setting and accountability felt by many academic authors, we have developed a month-long motivational email series that begins with a personal pledge to meet your writing goals. Simply share with us your goals, anticipated challenges, and what TAA can do to help you succeed, and we’ll help move you forward with daily email messages containing motivation, encouragement, and resources to advance your writing efforts all month long.

Project management: Two free tools to increase efficiency in your writing projects

Project management was originally developed for civil engineering, but even if you are writing a book instead of building a bridge, there are useful approaches to borrow that will improve your work flow. In a previous article, I described that within project management, tools can be roughly divided into “project definition tools” and “implementation tools.” Project definition tools are those that help you determine the scope, the tasks, and the budget (i.e., time), whereas implementation tools are those that help you conduct the work. Here, I focus on the latter, and present two tools from the lens of project management for writing.

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.

Time Management Survey respondents cite prioritization, procrastination issues as biggest challenges

As part of writing coach Mary Beth Averill’s TAA webinar on time management this month, we surveyed members anonymously on their time management challenges.

When asked what they saw as their biggest time management challenges, respondents highlighted scheduling, exhaustion, estimating how long their projects will take, and prioritizing. One person wrote, “waiting to the last minute and finding the project is bigger than I anticipated.” Another pointed out time of day: “First thing in morning: rituals of Internet headlines and email checking.” And, as academics, they have to answer to competing priorities: “The amount of service work required in academic work. Calculating how much time it takes to do things. Prioritizing my own work.”