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Balancing Time: Managing Priorities While Teaching and Learning

Developed by Mei Ling Chua

This workshop considers the complexities of juggling time and priorities across multiple responsibilities as graduate students and instructors. This asynchronous workshop will utilize a pdf workbook to guide attendees through a series of activities that they can do at their own pace. Attendees will learn strategies for balancing their time between teaching, coursework, research, and other aspects of their lives. 

Learning Goals

  • Consider a range of time management strategies and tactics
  • Gain a sense of how you are currently spending time

Introduction

As graduate students and instructors, it can often be challenging to figure out how to fit in multiple, sometimes conflicting responsibilities and priorities into the finite hours of a day. While this is often already challenging, trying to do all the things in the midst of the global pandemic along with current widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism generates additional dimensions.

On top of the added mental and emotional load that can come with widespread uncertainty and heightened calls to action, there are also shifts material factors and resources, including the loss of workspace and access to materials (books, library, computer labs), to the complications of sharing space and childcare all in the same space of “working from home.”  

It is important to acknowledge that planning and preparing for distance education  online requires a different preparation and cadence, often require more preparation before class sessions to get various materials and platforms ready.

For instance, this workshop is presented as a PDF workbook while also having a digital space for the reflection questions. (https://padlet.com/chuameilingchua/BalancingTime). The rationale for the pdf was to be digitally accessible and allow you to work at your own pace, while also providing the option for printing and writing by hand in case you are tired of screens or prefer it. Padlet was selected to provide a space for sharing and thinking with others asynchronously.

The shifting to different forms of media, asks us to shift our attention in different ways, and that is something  that we need to account for when protecting our time, attuning to how we spend our energy and structure our priorities.

Activity

Download, print (if possible), and explore this workbook below. [Click here to Download the Balancing Time PDF]

Balancing Time Workbook

Visit this workshop’s Digital Reflection/Sharing Space:

https://padlet.com/chuameilingchua/BalancingTime

Takeaways

Graduate Center Resources

Wellness Center

–  Dissertation Support Group/Master’s Thesis Support Group

Office of Career Planning & Professional Development

–  offers workshops and support on career planning

GC Writing Center

–  offers one-on-one feedback on your writing

Selected Books:

Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do

Robert Boice, Advice for New Faculty Members

Joan Bolker, Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day

Joli Jensen, Write No Matter What

Karen Kelsky, The Professor Is In

James Lang, Small Teaching

David Sternberg, How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation

Helen Sword, Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write

Sword’s article “‘Write Every Day!’: A Mantra Dismantled”

Online Resources:

Tanya Golash-Boza: http://getalifephd.blogspot.com/

Raul Pacheco-Vega: http://www.raulpacheco.org/resources/academic-writing-acwri/

Discussion and support for finishing dissertations: http://www.phinished.org/

HASTAC Progressive Pedagogy Group

NYT on procrastination and attention management

Bullet Journal: http://bulletjournal.com

Cal Newport, Beyond To-Do Lists: http://www.calnewport.com/blog/2020/04/17/beyond-to-do-lists/,

Cal Newport, Fixed-Schedule Productivity: https://www.calnewport.com/blog/2008/02/15/fixed-schedule-productivity-how-i-accomplish-a-large-amount-of-work-in-a-small-number-of-work-hours/

Pomodoro Technique: (definitely take an internet search to see many more articles about this) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique