What Do Professors Do All Week: A Reflection

Two of my bookshelves: young adult literature, Asian American literature, children's literature studies, childhood studies, adoption-related children's books...

Earlier this week I was inspired by friend and colleague Dr. Philip Nel to blog in response to the question, “What Do Professors Do All Day?” He started on Sunday, but I started on Tuesday because 1) I was super sick on Monday 2) SCU shut down for a Snow Day on Monday. I’m not blogging a play-by-play of today, though, because I think I’ve done this enough to learn a bit about my work habits. In reflecting about this experiment, I’ve come to the following conclusions:

  • I love my work.
  • I work in spurts.
  • I get distracted easily (surprise, surprise).
  • Knowing that I’m publicly sharing a play-by-play of my day was always on the back of my mind. What does this mean? Less Facebook, more work… although oftentimes Facebook is work because so many of my colleagues post work-related articles on Facebook. Last night a friend suggested fasting from Facebook for Lent, and I said I could never do that because I get too much work-related content through Facebook.
  • I enjoy blogging, and hope to do it more.
  • Sometimes I come dangerously close to working 12+ hours a day.
  • I need to make better use of my to-do lists. I started using toodledo.com but got discouraged after realizing just how many things I need to-do. I decided today to use google tasks – my life is already googlefied, it’s no-nonsense, and I can easily sync it to my iPad. We’ll see how this goes!
  • I need more exercise.
  • I need more leisure reading.
  • I need more socializing.
  • I need more meditation and downtime.
  • I need to write more. A LOT more.

I also have these questions:

  • How might my week have looked different if I wasn’t ill? If we didn’t have a Snow Day?
  • How can I better organize my time so that I focus on projects for good, long chunks of time, rather than piecemeal? Would that give me the time and space I need for my ideas to simmer, and would it result in a better product?
  • How well am I allocating my time? How would this have looked if I color-coded research, teaching and service?
  • Did my experiment (and Phil’s experiment) inspire you to work differently?

I don’t know if I’ll do this again next week, next month, or ever, but I really enjoyed it this week, and believe that it did cause me to be more careful and reflective about how I spend my time. Thank you Dr. Phil for the idea, thank you to my readers. It’s after 5pm! Checking out. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

One thought on “What Do Professors Do All Week: A Reflection

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s