Category Archives: Productivity

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How to Juggle Your 101 Responsibilities

Kelly P. Beischel PhD, RN, CNE   Imagine you’re at your town festival. Droopy strands of lights are twinkling between telephone poles. Music pours out of the precariously hung speakers.   The air is sticky with the smell of popcorn. A juggler in front of you causes you to stop abruptly in the street. He’s about to juggle a bowling ball, a baseball, and a glass ball. You’re fascinated by his attempt to do the impossible thinking, “There’s no way.” How will he manage to juggle each of these objects successfully? And at the same time? But I bet this isn’t far off from your daily life. Dividing your time between the responsibilities that come with being an academic can feel just as impossible. Right? Your responsibilities, like the juggler’s objects, don’t carry the same weight. The tasks associated with your responsibilities don’t carry the same weight either. We are often caught between which task to do first because they all appear to weigh the same, to have the same priority.  Yet, some tasks are more valuable than others. And some, if not attended to, break more readily than others. There’s good news in this; the year is fresh. The slate is blank. This is the perfect time to reflect on your responsibilities and […]

How to Take Back Your Time and Gain More Freedom

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I confess. For much of my earlier life, I was a people pleaser out of fear of disappointing others. (Unless of course you count my teenage years when challenging my parents was my full-time job.) Have you ever fallen trap to people pleasing to the point your time was not your own? Like me, have you ever said “yes” because you thought you ‘should’, because you wanted to please the person requesting your time, or because you felt trapped like you couldn’t say “no”? For most of us, the answer is probably “yes”. More times than we’d like to admit, right?  Unfortunately, there are grave consequences to being a people pleaser, of being a person who can’t say “No”. Here’re a few examples of those consequences.  Your energy supply can’t keep up with the demand, leaving you perpetually fatigued and overwhelmed. People ask what you like to do in your free time. You scoff and ask, “Free time? What’s that?” The Pareto Principle is turned on its head. And now 20% of what you care about consumes 80% of your time. You’re resentful toward the person who requested your time or the project itself. You track your colleagues’ workload, just sure that you are working harder. […]

Have You Ditched Your New Year’s Resolution?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Are you tired of hearing the hoopla about making a New Year’s resolution? I am. And I’m really tired of hearing skeptics scoff about how few people follow through. When recently I heard someone state that 46% of people don’t make it past 6 months, I thought, “Well, good for those who tried and made it that long!” Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder why 46% of people give up on their resolutions. Or why 30% of people give up on their resolutions in the first few weeks of the New Year. If you are one of the 30%, all is not lost.  Here are 3 reasons people ditch their New Year’s resolutions and simple strategies to get you back on track. The First Reason January beckons us to begin anew. To throw off bad habits and begin fresh. Wouldn’t you agree? We are so fizzled out after the holidays that by the end of December we’re willing to promise anything to anyone. And this is just what we do. Bad idea! Coming off of the holiday in a frazzled state coupled with depleted energy leads us to make resolutions from a place of lack. A place of scarcity.  You know, from those “I’m not enough.” “I don’t do enough.” “I don’t […]

Jump off the Ferris wheel and take action

By Kelly Beischel I’m an information collecting junkie. There. I’ve said it. I’m addicted to collecting information. Just take a look at my email inbox or my bookshelves and you’ll know it’s true. There is nothing inherently wrong with collecting information UNLESS it thwarts us from taking action. Unless it’s a manifestation of procrastination. I’ve seen my clients and my students plagued by this type of procrastination paralysis. And well …. I’ve been there too. This type of procrastination manifests something like this. See if you’ve ever experienced any of these dreaded symptoms: You’ve collected mounds of research, fervently reading and taking notes. You look very productive. And this is great because being productive provides a sanction to stall:        ~ writing a manuscript,        ~ planning an educational event,       ~ revising an outdated policy and procedure manual,       ~ submitting an abstract to present at a conference. You get the picture, right? You solicit input from colleagues about an idea you have for your classroom, your research, your service project. Yet rather than implementing the idea, you continue to gather input. You study for a certification exam beyond the return on investment. Is it just me or does any of […]

7 Strategies to Pump Up Your Summer Productivity

By Kelly Beischel You know that I love talking about ways to improve productivity, right? So when the assistant director for our Center for Teaching Excellence asked me if I would present some strategies for having a productive summer to faculty finishing their first year of teaching at our institution, I jumped at the chance.  You see, I know all too well how easy it is to have a summer of pretend. I know how to pretend I don’t have a syllabus to put together. How to pretend I don’t have writing to accomplish. How to pretend I don’t have classes needing a face lift.  And do you know what else I know? When I play pretend all summer, my fall semester is like a scene out of “Nightmare on Elm Street.”   Contrary to what you may believe, using productivity strategies in the summer doesn’t preclude the fun and relaxation you want and need. Rather, it affords you even more fun and relaxation because the time you set aside to work is more productive.Less time is required. Seven Strategies toward Being More Productive Take time to have fun. The summer is a great time to re-create yourself. Be sure to take time to play You will be refreshed and ready to […]

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