As the spring semester winds to a close, I’m a bit ashamed, sad, and excited to admit: I’ve become one of “THOSE” faculty members. I close the door, I ignore emails and phone calls, I hide out at home when I need unsolicited quiet time. I’m guarding my time the way the royal guard looks after Buckingham Palace. As I polish this post, I’ve closed myself in my office and at home now for the last two days, only going to campus for meetings and obligations. My email is backlogged (just like everyone else’s) and I sort of feel like I’m merely putting out fires. I may need a vacation. Correction: I need a vacation. I saw a few articles this week about overworked America and working 40 hours a week and wondered what would happen if I stopped working for a few days–NOTHING? I can’t seem to get any work done. The old “do you have a minute?” or “I just have a quick question” have taken over my life, my soul, and are inhibiting me from getting what I need to get done: WORK!!! Quite frankly, it’s making me a little nuts.
To compound my sad sally state: my wrist and eyes are killing me–two sure signs that I’ve been spending way too much time in front of the screens that are ruining my eyesight and hands. SERENITY NOW!!!
In the end, it’s me and my attitude, but I am looking forward to the semester ending. As I wrap up my first full semester as a new faculty, it’s time to take stock in what I’ve been doing well and what could use some work. Here we go!
What’s gone well:
- amazing opportunities that have come along for the ride such as other grant proposals, teaching, advising, networking, and travel
- working with some of my favorite groups of people: teachers and students
- an offer to write some chapters in a book for a major publishing company
- creating a great network of professionals for guidance and working to maintain positive relationships with others
What needs work:
- stepping away, turning it off, unplugging from work for longer periods of time
- taking a real vacation (a half day on Friday does not count)
- writing- it will always need work
- graduate student interactions-those started off rocky but improved over the semester
- saying NO and not feeling guilty to the point where i’m hiding out in my office 🙂
- ending immediate response. people can wait, i wait for them all of the time
- send less email….
As a new faculty, how do you reflect on what’s going well and what needs work? What benchmarks do you set for yourself? How do you carve out your time for putting work aside and enjoying life?