Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More on Priorities; scheduling meetings

Ok, a committee I am on needs to meet. I am a leader (#2) of the committee and it is a major part of my job. We have been getting a bit of heat from the administration since there is a rumor among the donors that we are losing our edge.

To attend, I must choose something to sacrifice, since I am pretty tightly scheduled as-is. Though I didn't have an explicit priority scale in my head when I answered, it became clear to me where my priorities lie when I re-read my answers. Here is the times and answers I gave.

Suggested time: Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. OR 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
My answer: Unavail; lab 10-12 and 1-5

I won't cancel class. No one would and it is not expected. So lectures and labs must be priority 1.

Suggested time: Friday 7 - 8:50 a.m.; 12-1:30 p.m.; 2:30-3:45 p.m.
My answer 7-8:50 avail; if coffee served (kidding)

On Fridays Hub can take the kids to daycare. I will sacrifice sleep, if I am free to do so. This seems to be what people with a high work ethic would do, and if I am not one of those people, I want to be- very badly. Besides, #1 has a farm as a hobby and no patience for pansies that sleep till 9.

11:30-12:30 unavail; office hour

I won't cancel office hours. I only have two official times. Even though the students typically don't show, I still feel that this is a serious obligation, close to lecturing and leading labs.

2:30-3:45 prefer. not; Research

Looks like I will sacrifice my unstructured research time. By now, my students are getting pretty independent, and might not need me there anyway. I would not, however, schedule during the lab meeting/ journal club scheduled time.

Suggested times Monday 7-8:50 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.; 2:30 - 5 p.m.
My answer 7-8:50 prefer not; daycares open at 7

Without Hub's help, I could not make a 7:00a meeting since Boy's daycare opens at 6:30a and Girl's opens at 7:00a. The best-case scenario would be that I would be about 15 minutes late if I had the hurculean power to get the kids up and out starting at 5:30a. I don't want to do that except as a last resort.

11:30-1 avail.

There goes my lunch, and potential lecture prep time. Must remember to pump before 1:30 class, and prep for lecture the night before.

2:30-5 unavail 2:30-3:30 office hour; avail after 3:30

Looks from this like my daily priorities go:
1. Giving lecture
2. Teaching Labs
3. Getting my kids to and from daycares
4. Office Hours
5. Meetings for important committees 5. Pumping
7. Lunch
8. Prepping for lectures and labs
9. Research group meetings
10. Being in the lab
11. Other taking care of myself: health provider appointments, etc.


  1. I recently had a phone interview at 8:30pm because that was the only time the committee could all meet (at least I assume that's why it was so late).

    Also, my adviser was recently sick for a week - multiple doctor trips and completely unable to work. Take care of yourself! Missing work means a lot of catching up.

  2. I had a meeting scheduled to begin at 8:45 pm on a Sunday nigh last month. Ended at 12:30 in the morning, kids get up here at 5:55 am. It was NOT a good Monday morning.

    Do sometimes push 11 up to 1 - you are in this for the long haul and if you collapse, it's not a good thing for anyone (least of all you!)