Time is on my mind lately; the semester is winding down and my students are all busy submitting final papers and finish exams. I have about 5 days of work time when I can really get things done: no meetings, no classes to teach, just me and my desk and all my plans for next semester.
I have, in the past, sort of squandered such opportunities. I don’t know why such lethargy comes over me, but when I don’t have the instant worry of getting something done on time, I tend to do it much more slowly. I don’t love this quality in myself; in fact, I feel like one of the main resolutions I’d love to stick to in 2018 is the idea of working ahead when I have a chunk of time, so I don’t get quite so stressed when I don’t have a chunk of time to spare.
That being said, I am going to give myself some guidelines, here on the blog, for how I will spend this time. It’s not “free” time, after all, because I am expected to add value to my school and to make next semester less stressful for myself. So here are my goals – hopefully specific and manageable – for the next week.
- I want to develop the materials for my most work-intensive class next semester; this means syllabus, course management site, assignment sheets, and lecture powerpoints. I also want to develop a plan for my other 3 classes, but those don’t need to be as nailed-down from the beginning since I’ve taught them before.
- I want to clear my desk and file my paperwork from this semester, since I’ve gotten massively behind on my David Allen-style filing system.
- I want to make a rough calendar of the different things that must be done when I return from the holidays, so that rather than being discombobulated by the long absence, I am prepared for starting quickly and decisively.
What about you? You may have crazy busy stuff to do right up until any celebrating you’ll be doing at the end of this year, but if not, what will you do with whatever time you have?