Huffington post recently published a piece on how professors spend their time (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-wade/what-do-professors-do-all_b_5212149.html). Turns out, most work about 61 hours a week on average, with 10 of those hours occurring over the weekend. That's a lot of hours! Be that as it may, what's a bit distressing is how those hours are spent. Out of all the activities the researcher quantified, professors spend the largest portion of time in meetings, with emailing taking a close second.
This leads me to consider the importance of thinking about yeses and nos. Given that there are finite hours in a day and finite hours in a work week, saying "Yes" to spending time one way means saying "no" to spending that same time differently. I guess that's basic physics: two tasks cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
This week I am living with the fact that I said yes to something which is a low priority and yet high-stress and time-consuming. What that means, I've realized, is less yoga, less academic writing, and less time with my husband in the evening--whoops, there go my priorities!
To help remember that saying yes means saying no to something else, I'm considering making a mini priorities shrine (http://www.katherinefusco.com/1/post/2014/04/a-priorities-shrine-a-powerful-metaphor-post.html) in my campus office, which is the place where I tend to say yes too much. I'm hoping a visual reminder will help me say the nos that mean saying yes to my priorities.
Get a Life, PhD
The Professor is In
The Thesis Whisperer
Tenure, She Wrote