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Balancing Your Life

Module by: Susan Cates. E-mail the author

Summary: 2006 presentation in the Rice University NSF Advance Conference entitled “Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position”. This workshop offered guidelines for balancing a research career and a personal life.

Workshop Authors: Janet Braam, Carrie Masiello, Tony Mikos, John Olson, Keith Cooper, and Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede

Time Management Guidelines

Home:

• Accept less (cleanliness, simple meals, etc.)

• Hire a housekeeper

• Shopping, chores – plan to do as infrequently as possible

• Expect partners to equally share responsibilities

• Delegate tasks to other family members/housekeeper

• Use available resources: childcare, backup childcare, summer camp

Work:

• 5 minute rule: if you can do it in 5 minutes, do it now and be done with it.

• Make realistic to-do lists – rank by importance

• Don’t procrastinate. Limited time requires great focus of attention.

• Use available secretarial resources: don't make photocopies, as possible, delegate grant paperwork, travel arrangements, other scheduling

• as available, use TA's

• delegate answering student questions. So you don't know the answer either? Say, 'Good question. Find that out and tell me the answer.'

• Make careful decisions regarding your time. Do this by never commiting immediately. Always ask for time to consider.

• Prioritize as follows:

  1. Will this get me tenure?
  2. Will this help my students?
  3. Will this advance me professionally outside of my institution?

• If practical, say yes to:

Panel service (NSF, NIH, NASA, DOE, etc)

Do this at least once as early as possible in your tenure clock.

Not more than 12 reviews total per year. This includes both proposal reviews and manuscript reviews.

Develop a manuscript review template to speed manuscript reviewing.

• Professional Travel:

Many people find this more challenging after having children. If at all possible, do much of this before children. As children become older, travel will become easier.

• Be Selfish With:

  1. Your physical health
  2. Your mental health
  3. Your family time
  4. Your time with your partner

References

  1. Janet Braam, Carrie Masiello, Tony Mikos, John Olson, Keith Cooper, and Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede. (2006, October). Balancing Your Life: NSF Advance Workshop at Rice University. [http://www.advance.rice.edu/negotiatingtheidealfacultyposition/agenda.html].

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

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What are tags? tag icon

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