Work tracking weekend

Sunday: six hours, about three each on research and teaching
Saturday: five hours, about three on research and two on service and housekeeping
Friday (day off): one hour, research
Thursday: nine hours, eight on teaching and consulting, one on research
Wednesday: six hours, five on service and housekeeping and one on research
Tuesday: eight hours, all on teaching
Monday: five hours, four on teaching and one on research

TOTAL: Exactly forty hours!
Research: 10 hours
Teaching: 23 hours
Service and housekeeping: 7 hours

Research 30% — really spent 25%
Teaching 60% — really spent 59%
Service 10% — really spent 16% (but I could have counted housekeeping to teaching or research)

Notice how close I am to the use of time actually stipulated in my contract. How is this possible? Well, service is very low this semester so far as only two committees have done any work. I have not done anything like bring in an invited speaker, host a job candidate, rework the departmental website, do paperwork for curriculum changes or accreditation, chair peer review, or any of the other things one often does.

So this is what it is like to do normal levels of service. And this is why I am able (barely) to handle new courses and not lose sight of research completely. If it were not for the writing group, I would be putting more time into teaching, and I have my own prior service work to thank for that fact that the same work is not needed now.

The 50, 60, and 70 hour weeks I have worked in the past came from mega-service: long hours of meetings for reorganization and similar projects, many official functions, much writing of code or bureaucratic prose. I do not think I could spend that much time on teaching and research; these take too much concentration since one is interacting with other minds at a deep level then.

I still get to raise my amount of research time (this is the first time I have come up to 10 hours in a week and I want 15 or 18 — and am willing to work up to 48 hours per week to get them) but more importantly it needs to be more efficient. I am moving ahead and I feel transformed but I am still working in a rather chaotic way and this cannot go on. Making this time more organized and calm is my goal for this week.




Filed under News, What Is A Scholar?

3 responses to “Work tracking weekend

  1. I think you’re exactly right about service being the only thing that can expand like that. It is more like “normal” jobs, where tasks are not so mentally demanding, and where it is more important to show up than to be truly mentally involved, and so it can be done after (preferably after!) the real work of thinking (research, teaching) is finished.

    • Z

      There are also those scientists who have to sit in their labs and make molds grow, or go out and gather specimens.

  2. Z

    Now that I know it is 40 hours, maybe I can make service the extra. Like: 20 hours teaching and 20 research, plus 4 of service. And let service expand as much as it needs to, or get ignored completely, but not encroach on the 40.

    Now that I know it is 40 hours, I can live rationally. I did before. I became a chaotic worker because of the Reeducation and the PTSD, would work any time PTSD was not happening, would spend a lot of time trying to get ready to work or test myself to see if work would be a PTSD trigger at this moment. That is the other way in which it got hard to figure out how much time I was spending on actual work and how much lying in wait for a moment in which I would be able to.

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