Wednesday, October 20, 2004

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)

Management tips for academics

John Quiggin posts some time management tips for academics, and because my time management skills are horrible, I decided to read them instead of tackling the mess that is my desk. Here's his first one:

First, the best way to avoid a piled-up in tray is to deal with jobs immediately, either by doing them, or by deciding never to do them. This won’t work for every kind of job, but the more types of jobs you can handle in this way, the better. So to implement this tip you need a way of classifying jobs. One way is by the time they are likely to take (see tip #2). IF you take this approach you can decide to do all 5-minute jobs immediately, or not at all. I prefer to focus on discretionary jobs where an immediate decision not to take the job is feasible. For an academic, refereeing for journals is like this. I try to deal with requests for referee reports in the same week I get them. If I have free time, and the job looks straightforward on a first reading, I try to do it within two days. Editors who are used to waiting for months really love a quick turnaround like this, and I live in hope that it will build up good karma for my own submissions. If I can’t manage a report within a week then, unless the paper looks to be very important, or I am obligated to the journal in question, I reply immediately that I’m not available. Editors usually don’t mind this, especially if I can suggest someone else.

Excellent advice.

Now back to that overdue referee report.

posted by Dan on 10.20.04 at 04:54 PM


those concepts sound like rip-offs from David Allen's "getting thngs done". It is unbelievable, and incredibly intuitive. Check out James Fallow's profile:

posted by: chris brandow on 10.20.04 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

Can't be getting much done the past few days, what with the ALCS and all. Please God, Go Sox!

posted by: Steve M on 10.20.04 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

I sit on an editorial board and I also have to review student therapist paperwork weekly. Then there's the website to update, the tests to grade, the latest research to review and...what was that about tenure? Oy. Last year I had a work study student who was a dream. This year? Not so much.

So...feel free to post these tips anytime. I know I can use the suggestions and the nudges.

posted by: Opus on 10.20.04 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

Dan, do you follow this rule for blog posts?

posted by: Zathras on 10.20.04 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

Chris, I've never seen the book you refer to, but there may be a link. Kieran at CT mentioned to me something he'd read rather similar to my #1, and I responded with this and a couple more I've used for a long time, then worked them up into a blog post.

posted by: John Quiggin on 10.20.04 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

I really hate to sound ignorant and perhaps this site is way too advanced for me but could some one PLEASE explain to me or give me a site to go to that would explain to me exactly what is and when the Electrol College began. I find it very confusing and this is such an important election I would like to be well informed when the pundits are talking about it on TV and NPR. Help.

posted by: Gay Nixon on 10.20.04 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?