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Are You Productive, or Just Busy?
As one participant at the recent Preparing Future Faculty conference had heard from her faculty mentor, "Everyone is busy. Not everyone is productive." What can you do to make sure you fall into the latter category? The conference session on Strategies, Tools and Resources for Productivity focused on developing habits while in graduate school that will lead to greater success as a faculty member.
At the session, I presented research showing that success in most endeavors begins with creating the right habits so that you are consistently making progress toward your goals. For college faculty, one crucial habit to develop is regular writing. But knowing this fact does not always mean acting upon it. Developing a new habit requires creating the right environment for it to grow (a regular trigger, engaging in the desired behavior, and a "reward" or sense of accountability for completing the behavior), and much of the discussion at the conference session was about how to nurture the environment for regular writing.
If you read on, you can see the Prezi presentation from the session and learn more about resources for productivity.
In addition to research on "quick starters," and their writing habits, the presentation highlighted
- the research on developing mentoring networks (as opposed to relying on a single mentor)
- the importance of integrating one's scholarship and teaching
- strategies for incorporating active learning in your courses to minimize course preparation time and maximize student learning
- apps, websites, and technologies that can help you fight the lure of the internet
Assistant Director, CRLT
If you are interested in learning more about developing the behaviors and habits of mind that increase your chances of success in academia, check out the Profhacker Blog in the Chronicle of Higher Education or any one of the following books.