Tag Archives: goals


Pause, Clarify, Decide

Bucket of rocks

Professionals in every field today often find themselves overwhelmed by the flood of incoming information, opportunities, and tasks. Most of us want to do more than just keep up with the inbox — we have larger projects and goals we want to pursue, which sometimes get pushed to the side when we’re under the pressure of urgent deadlines and requests.

Stephen Covey’s classic productivity tool, the Urgent/Important matrix can be helpful in distinguishing between those activities that are urgent and…


Commit to Your Calendar


When you glance at your calendar for next week, what do you see? Is it mostly empty except for a couple of meetings on Thursday, but you know that you have classes to teach on Monday and Wednesday? Or maybe your calendar looks completely full, but you know that you won’t really get to half the tasks you’ve filled in the days with. Many of us either carry commitments in our heads that we have to think about when scheduling other events, or we have to sort through the mixed list of appointments a…


How Will You Wrap Up Summer?

swimming dog

The academic summer season has less to do with the solstice and equinox than with the academic calendar and the changes in population, traffic patterns, building hours, professional duties, and activities that occur on college campuses as we get ready for the start of a new year. Even if you do not have direct classroom contact with students, chances are that your work and/or your life will be affected in some ways by their return. (And, of course, if you have children in your household, then t…


Tools I Use: Full Year Wall Calendar

wall calendar

Does your current calendar system help you to visualize your fixed commitments and see where your schedule has space or flexibility? Can you think about what you’ll be doing in July in relation to what you’re doing this month?

Although for my detailed daily, weekly, and monthly planning I use a color-coded Google calendar replete with reminders and recurring events, I also use a full year wall calendar to facilitate two key activities in my productivity workflow: long-range planning and habit t…


Pick One Thing

So we’re almost at the middle of the month…did you make any New Year’s resolutions? How are you doing with them?

The start of a new calendar year and a new academic semester offer all kinds of possibilities. It’s a hopeful time of year as many people feel empowered to make resolutions or create new behaviors. But without making conscious, repeated choices to do something new, most people quickly fall back into their default habits and routines, especially once confronted with stressful situatio…


From the Archives: Summertime, Summertime

frisbee dog Whether your summer plans involve writing, teaching, travel, or relaxing, we’ve got something in the ProfHacker archives to help.

Plan Your Time: Anastasia points out that we often fall prey to an illusion of an “Endless” Summer and suggests that “more unscheduled time or perceived freedom can be dangerous, with the temptation of grandiose planning and over-commitment.” Last summer she experimented with an alternative calendar app to help plan her summer.

In Summerproofing Your to-Do List, Jason…


Share Your Goals for Greater Accountability

2318104417_fe38771062_mDo you ever promise yourself that you’ll do something, only to let it slide?

Many of us have good intentions that we don’t act upon.

One way to clarify your commitments and to take action towards your important goals is to involve other people.

Find an Accountability Partner or Community

A good accountability partner should be able to ask you clarifying questions, offer you encouragement and support, and hold you to your commitments. Depending on your personality type and the kinds of goals you …


Take One Small Step

footprintsIs there something you know you want to start doing, but you just can’t seem to begin? Whether it’s beginning a new piece of writing or establishing a daily workout routine, sometimes all the rational plans, checklists, and arguments in the world won’t be enough to get you going.

Maybe you know you need to go to the gym, but you never seem to make the time for it. Or you tell yourself that you will start writing that article when you have three hours free, or when your desk is organized, or afte…


Sabbatical Diary: Thinking about Grades

ReportcardThis semester, I’m in an enviable position. I get to take courses I’m really enjoying, simply because I want to learn what’s being taught in them. There’s no need for me to be overly concerned with grades. How well I do or don’t do has no direct bearing on my future. I’m not applying to a doctoral program. I’m not applying to medical school. There’s no one I need to impress with a “perfect” transcript.

That leaves me free to approach grades the way, ideally, I think they ought to be approached. …


Learn About Yourself With AskMeEvery.com

blazers dataIf there’s something you’d like to do better, or more consistently, then you probably should measure it. That simple insight powers lots of different apps, services, and guidelines that we’ve written about on ProfHacker.

But sometimes–and I know this will shock you–sometimes one forgets. Or you don’t really want an infinitely extensible database/visualization engine that allows you to search tracked data 50 ways from Sunday while serendipitously finding relevant songs in iTunes. Sometimes, wha…