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Make Yourself a Priority

Updated: Jan 8, 2023

One of the hardest things we can do --especially as graduate students or faculty members --is think of ourselves first. This week I want to challenge you to...

Now, this is actually harder than it sounds. We are conditioned (especially BIPOC and womxn-identified folks) to make space for everyone else. We put off our own priorities for our students, our colleagues, our families and our friends. This can look like spending way too much time prepping for classes, signing up for yet another committee on campus, or refusing to communicate clearly with family about our boundaries.

Before we know it, we have made it nearly impossible to find time for our writing projects. After a few weeks or even months, it seems like we will never finish that article, or that book chapter, or that book proposal.

So, my challenge to you is to make yourself a priority!

If this seems foreign to you, or you are out of practice, here are a few tips:

  1. Decide on your working hours and then communicate them clearly. If you are working from home, post a sign on the door so family members know when you are writing. Ask them to respect those hours, unless it's an emergency (my kids know that they cannot knock on my closed office door unless someone is actively bleeding!). Schedule a "very important meeting" on your calendar everyday.

  2. Limit the time you spend in your inbox. I know how satisfying it can be to look at a clean inbox, but resist! Find a way to turn off notifications for new messages and set a timer to give yourself at least TWO HOURS between checking messages. If you are reading this, you are probably not a neurosurgeon. As I tell my graduate students, "there are no art historical emergencies." Believe me, it can wait!

  3. Do "the least" in other areas. This is probably the hardest for the overachieving perfectionists (ahem), but take a minute to consider what is the minimum effective amount of work you need to get something done. If it's grading-related, can you use a rubric instead of written comments? If it's course prep, can you limit the hours you spend writing that lecture? If it's a list of books that you have to read before starting on that article draft, can you cut it in half?

I am now enrolling for a NEW 90-minute workshop “Managing Your Writing.” If you have been frustrated with your progress, lost with your argument, or unsure of how to move forward this semester, this workshop is FOR YOU. 🥳

This online workshop will help you:

1️⃣ Identify and overcome your writing obstacles

2️⃣ Effectively plan your writing sessions, AND

3️⃣ Develop a system for managing big projects that works for you.

PLUS: All participants leave with a workbook and customizable templates you can reuse for any writing project.

🗓️ Now enrolling for Fridays starting October 28! Receive a 15% discount with the code MIDTERM. So, what are you waiting for? 🧐

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