Monday, December 1, 2014

Why Academics Feel Overworked

Inside Higher Ed
December 1st, 2014

Last month I documented how I've been spending my time as a new assistant professor. I've been happy with this pace so far. However, maintaining it requires me to spend a lot of energy:
  • Saying no to people's requests.
  • Planning my time so that I get done what I want without feeling overworked.
Every time I say no to someone, I feel like a jerk. But I have to trust my gut that it's the best for everyone, since if I kept saying yes, then I'd spread myself too thin and do a lousy job on all of my tasks. Of course, I can't say no to everyone, or else I'd eventually get super-fired. Finding a balance is hard, and I don't always get it right.
Even though I'm only a few months into this job, I totally see how academics feel overworked if they don't push back enough. But why is this the case? Here's my folk theory.

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