Friday, December 31, 2010

Prodigal Resolutions for 2011

I can't believe it is time to think about 2011 already! I guess time flies when you are having fun, but the years have really started to fly now that I am crazy busy in both my work life and my home life. Here are 11 TT resolutions for 2011. I am writing these down (publically) as a way to keep myself on track:

1. Get those last 2 papers from National Lab out! There is no reason I shouldn't have done this already, but there always seems to be something else I need to do. That data isn't getting any fresher, and a paper is paper, right?

2. Set up one day a week as a writing day, and just write all day. I need to focus more on my writing, and I can't get much done without large time blocks.

3. Apply to at least 2 new (to me) funding agencies this year. Sounds easy, but it can take serious time to figure out who to contact, the proper style, and the paperwork of a new agency/foundation.

4. Reorganize my office so I can keep it organized. My current system is clearly not working, since I prefer to make piles rather than put things where they belong and can be easily found.

5. Do a better job on my budgeting/purchase tracking. I am doing the bare minimum required by my University now, but I think setting up a system would be very helpful for tracking what I am buying and when, so I can do a better job projecting my needs.

6. Do a better job networking outside my specialty. I tend to skip seminars that are very far from my field, and also to leave the speaker slots for those whose research is more directly related. I have been thinking this is a mistake, and I should be more proactive about meeting people doing interesting stuff outside my field. This year, I will try to meet with at least one speaker a month that I would normally pass on. I will also pay attention to and attend more seminars in related departments.

7. Spend more one on one time with my students. I feel like I have been slacking a but on this one lately, and it would help both me and them to do more formal meetings rather than relying so much on informal and/or joint meetings.

8. Publish more! We are really, really close to 4 papers, but I can't spend another year waiting for "almost". The data takes its own time sometimes, but I can still try to work some of my proposal intros into reviews. I need to send out suggestions for review topics and also make sure we are getting the most out of the data we do have.

9. Say no more often to students in my class. This year, I was Professor Accessible for my large undergrad class, and as warned by GMP, this didn't really change my student evaluation scores OR grade distribution any. Next year, I will still be available for extra help, but on MY schedule (so I don't have teaching things scheduled for everyday of the week), not as needed.

10. Say no more often to minor service tasks. They add up to quite a bit of time if you always say yes!

11. Do a better job keeping up with the literature. I just set up RSS feeds rather than using emailed Table of Contents. Since it is easier to pick and choose out of RSS, I am hoping I don't just let it all pile up so much. We'll see...

Happy New Year!


Unbalanced Reaction said...

Great resolutions! I like the idea of setting aside a whole day for writing. I don't think a whole day would fly at my PUI, but I might try out taking a half day each week this semester for writing.

GMP said...

Happy new year, Prodigal! And as UR said, great resolutions!

Setting up a whole day for writing is a great thing. I have been doing it, with more or less success in different semesters, for a few years now and it's my favorite day of the week. Try not to schedule anything else for those days either, no matter how urgent.

The one with going outside your specialty is very important. I have had mixed success in implementing it (when stuff piles on, it's easy to ditch a seminar...) but it's one of those things where any is much better than none.

I'm with you on No 11; must be better keeping up with the literature. Great idea to set up RSS feeds, I will have to try. The table of contents are just too overwhelming as they all come at once...

Female Computer Scientist said...

Happy New Year! Great resolutions :)

gertyz said...

great resolutions! Esp. re: the budgets. I may co-opt that one. I've given up on organizing my office/desk. Everytime I try it lasts for all of 2 h.

prodigal academic said...

Thanks for the comments! Now I just have to actually do all this, right?

Hermitage said...

Haha, everyone knows making the list is hardest part, Prof. Prodigal, duhhhhhhhhh!