Category: Working in Higher Education

This year I’m aiming for a dynamic balance

Perhaps you feel like your year swings into productivity and then out again. Perhaps you are aware of all the wobbles and adjustments you are constantly having to make. Perhaps sometimes you need to reach out for support. Maybe sometimes you fall off balance and have to quickly get back up again. These are ways that people talk to me about balance–and they suggest that they are therefore ‘bad at balance’, ‘unbalanced’. But actually, this is exactly how bodies and minds should balance.

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Single use tools

Sometimes you have a task that is essential, but will only need to be done once. It can’t be done with your multi-use tools or even some of the more niche tools you have in your writing tool box. Nope. It needs a specialist, with a specialist tool, to intervene once.

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Review is the process of taking your writing away from you

Each revision, taking on board questions and concerns and advice and changes, takes my work a little bit away from me. For me, this is a good thing! Unlike this blog post, which I wrote, editing and published myself (hence the fact that there are often typos!), academic writing for publication has been read and commented on and changed by multiple people over multiple stages. The article or book goes from being ‘my’ work, to being, in some way, ‘our’ work.

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Proactive communication: newsletters and other stories

If you feel overwhelmed by your inbox and meeting demands, you are likely to be dealing with the challenge of reactive communication. That is, every day, you open your inbox and find tens or even hundreds of requests for information and tasks. Like many people, you may start the day with a sense of dread.

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My done-diary

In the post back in January about ‘Not forgetting everything you did last year’ I talked about a new done notebook strategy. Four months later, this is a quick update on how I’m using it right now.

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Are you in a team?

Not all groups of people working together are teams. And when your supervisor is not on your team, then you are definitely going to have a significant problem and you’ll need to think about how to tackle that.

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What even IS productivity anyway?

We are still having discourse about who should be productive, who doesn’t need to be productive, how to be productive in the plague times, and it’s all very confusing. While there are some Objectively Bad Takes, there are also just a lot of conflicting views that are mostly confusing because they all assume we know what productivity is and what it looks like… and I’m really not sure we do.

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Bento box Boundaries

If you want to listen to an audio version of this post, listen here. So often people talk about ‘boundaries’ like they are unfortunate, negative,

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