Professors: Why and How to Plan a Productive Summer Before the Semester’s Over

Professors_ How to Plan a Productive Summer Before the Semester Ends

It might have snuck up on you, but summer (at least for most US faculty) is right around the corner. Especially if you have a heavy teaching load right now, I bet you’re thinking two main things. First, summer will be your long-awaited down time to finally rest and recover from the semester’s stresses. Second, you are likely thinking “I can’t wait for summer so that I can finally get back to my research and writing!” With no classes to prep and grade, it feels like you will have endless amounts of time to write, distraction-free.

But long periods of unstructured time can be particularly troublesome. How many times have you found yourself making lofty goals for a break, only to find yourself scrambling in the final moments to get the bare minimum done?

So, how can you set yourself up to have a productive summer from the start? How can you plan your summer writing productivity now?

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Interruptions Steal 23 Minutes: How to Protect Your Focus

Professors: How to Protect Your Focus, Fight Interruptions and Curb Digital Distractions

Your brain tricks you constantly. You think you are a good multitasker. It never feels like your attention and focus suffer when you quickly answer a text message during a writing session. In fact, you’re able to get right back to your work.

The science tells a different story, one that will forever change how you see task switching and interruptions.

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A Weekly Writing Review: One Hour You Can’t Afford Not to Spend

Weekly Writing Review_ The One Hour You Can't afford not to spend

So many junior scholars quickly find themselves in research “survival mode.” You might find yourself saying “I don’t have time to write, especially on teaching days! I barely have enough time to prep, teach, grade, eat and sleep!” Or, you might find yourself in an extreme cycle: you write intensely to meet a deadline, then crash after. You vow things will be different going forward. You commit to writing at 9am every day, but quickly find yourself back in the same cycle. It’s time to break out of survival mode! How? Committing one hour per week a weekly writing review.

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Set Product-Focused Weekly Writing Goals to Boost Academic Productivity

Product-Focused Weekly Writing Goals to Boost Academic Productivity

In previous posts, I outlined how to publish more articles by tracking your writing, how to use opening rituals to make each writing session productive, and how to use closing rituals to set yourself up for success in your next session. But those posts left out one key piece. How do you set actionable product-focused weekly writing goals? In this post, I break down goal setting for academic writing into manageable steps. Use the framework to make your large academic writing projects more manageable.

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Obliger Professors: 3 Unconventional Ways to Say Yes to Your Projects

Obliger Professors Write More

Do you feel like you’ve read every writing and productivity book published for new faculty and scholarly writers, but still struggle to make progress on your projects? Do you make commitments to write at certain times, only to find that something urgent causes you to break your appointment? Do you find yourself taking on too many commitments, yet struggling to say no to new ones?

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Turn Academic Articles into Audio with Microsoft Word’s Speak

Use Microsoft Word's Speak to Hack your Commute

Did your new faculty job come with a long (45 min+ each way) car commute? Do you struggle to gain traction on your research projects because you feel like you have to sacrifice your precious early morning to make it to campus? Do you enjoy podcasts and audio books, but wish you could make your in-car time more “productive”? Continue reading “Turn Academic Articles into Audio with Microsoft Word’s Speak”

How to Save Time Grading and Give Better Feedback as a Professor: Semester, Assignment, and Feedback Design

Save Time Grading, Give Better Feedback- Questions to Spark Change

The biggest struggle I hear other tenure-track faculty at teaching-oriented institutions articulate is the amount of time it takes to teach 2-3 times as many courses as you ever did–most ones you’ve never taught before!–while establishing and maintaining your research agenda.

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Write More, Effortlessly with an Opening Ritual

Write More Effortlessly with an Opening Ritual

Do you struggle to write consistently? Do you put a session on your calendar, but then find other “urgent” things come up? Or that you sit down to write, but instead find yourself, two hours later, responding to emails, reading articles online, or knee-deep in another task that you started because you thought it would be better to just get it out of the way first?

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How to Publish More Academic Articles: Track Weekly and Daily Writing Goals

Want to publish more? Track weekly and daily writing goals

The summer before I began the tenure track, I read as much about how to balance the competing demands of the tenure-track as possible. How did successful faculty publish more than others? One of the sources, Professors as Writers, prompted me to do one small thing that ended paying huge dividends down the road.

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