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How do you actually do it?

29 replies

FarmerGilesRockfordFiles · 05/10/2017 10:36

I'm really struggling to see how to actually fit everything in and wondered how others do it.

I'm a lecturer. I can cope with my teaching and administration workload- I run two modules, contribute guest lectures to another couple of modules and have a medium-sized administration role.

However everything involved in my teaching and administration workload (teaching preparation, actual teaching, academic advising, PhD supervision, my administration role, attending department meetings) basically takes me my full working week and more leaving me no time for writing publications or grant applications.

I try to get these things done over summer but teaching tends to creep in plus I actually want some time off so I end up achieving far less that I'd hoped to. I've almost completely given up on writing grants because I just can't find the time.

I feel as though the only solution is to stop giving as much time/attention to teaching and PhD supervision but I find these the most rewarding parts of my job and I don't subscribe to the underlying idea of this that research is more important than teaching (though I know it is for promotion purposes).

Another option is to just start working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week though I'm not convinced this would work particularly well.

So, I'm interested in how others manage to juggle all of the expectations that are placed on us? I'm in my early 30s and looking at the next 40 years of working life in academia Sad so I need to get good practice in place now!

OP posts:

GiantSteps · 07/10/2017 11:53

about seven weeks of paid holiday

Crikey, where do you work? We get the standard 20 working days plus BHs.

Although one place I worked at, BHs were ordinary working days. Impossible to get a bus for a 9am meeting on a BH Monday - I used to have to fork out a fortune (50% BH surcharge) for a taxi to get to meetings on BH Mondays.


murmuration · 07/10/2017 12:09

giant, we don't get bank holidays either. (that's what BH means?) But we get 30 days total, so 6 weeks (although you have to take the 7 working days the Uni is closed over Xmas out of those).


murmuration · 07/10/2017 12:19

And, raindrops, are you actually suggesting that 36 contact hours corresponds with only 36 additional prep/marking hours???? Even our 'administrative fiction' workload model provides 4 additional hours per contact-hour (and while everyone complains that still doesn't reflect effort, I'm well aware it is far more credit than many depts even in our own Uni give for teaching!).


kalidasa · 07/10/2017 17:18

I am an SL in my 30s with young children and I don't work at evenings and weekends, with only very rare exceptions. So it is doable. I work about 40 hours a week. Admittedly I only take a lunch break perhaps once a week, otherwise often work through or eat in transit between meetings. I also go to evening seminars only rarely (once or twice a term), and do very little socialising at work. I do also think about work (only research really) outside work times - e.g. think through an argument in the shower/on the tube - which maybe saves time overall.

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