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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Humanities Faculty: How a Closing Routine Helps You Publish More

Write More Effortlessly With a Closing Ritual

In another post, I describe how using an opening routine can help you start your writing session more easily. But there’s something else that I do at the end of each session–my closing routine–that makes my opening routine possible. You see, at the end of each writing session, I not only track what I wrote and for how long, but I also commit to my next writing session (which I set during my weekly writing review), and I set concrete goals (or actionable steps) for my next session.

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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 Routine

Write More Effortlessly with an Opening Ritual

Do you intend to write, but never start? Or, are you overcome with anxiety the moment you open your computer? Maybe you tell yourself that you will write “in the morning,” but get sidetracked cleaning the kitchen. If any of these scenarios sound like you, then developing and implementing an opening routine–a series of steps you take each time you sit down to write–can help you begin writing more quickly and with less effort.

Ready to write more effortlessly? Read on.

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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.


I highly recommend Boice’s Professors as Writers for new faculty and graduate students. Three of his main findings are that the most productive faculty members write regularly (mostly at least every week day), they write before they feel ready, and, most importantly for this post, they consistently track their progress.

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