Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Scheduling Time to Work

Thanks for all your support as we struggle through our childcare issues. We have interviewed a few good candidates and hope to have a replacement soon. Meanwhile Grandma is filling in as much as she can and we are very grateful.

I haven't been able to get much done lately, as you might imagine with all this drama, but it stems more from time management problems than the nanny situation. I was wondering how you guys handle time for big projects, things like editing a paper and working on grants that can best be accomplished by dedicating large chunks of time rather than 30 minutes here and there. Lately, all I have is 30 minutes here or there and I am finding it very difficult to get these larger things done. I have been thinking about scheduling time to during the week to do them and then refusing to take any meetings or other commitments during this time. The problem is often I need to meet with several other faculty that may only have an opening during that time, but if I plan the meetings then I end up with no time for me. Other than working late or working early (which I can't do until nanny situation is resolved) what do you guys do to handle this issue?


At 9:47 AM , Blogger Bully mom said...

I reserve one day a week - no appointments, no calls (unless I am making them), no meetings. I also tend to do my editing at night - for some reason that's when it seems easier to write. And, I do my serious thinking in the morning since that is when my brain is on top of things.

At 1:02 PM , Blogger Candid Engineer said...

I agree with Bully mom- you've got to set aside some non-negotiable time. I read another blogger (can't remember which) who sets aside every Friday for staying at home to take care of stuff like this.

As a postdoc, I am not as bogged down by meetings as you, but I often find it incredibly helpful if I can get myself out of the lab for even a half day to work at home on writing tasks. This helps me avoid all of the people who swing by to chat or ask a few questions and all of the noise and other distractions that come along with working at work.

I'm not sure if your nanny situation prevents you from working at home right now, but maybe you could set aside a morning or afternoon to go to a coffee shop or the library where there will be no distractions.


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