Discover essential end of semester survival tips for faculty and staff, designed to boost productivity and well-being during the busiest time of the academic year.
Tips for Faculty and Staff #1:
While this may seem standard, you would be surprised how many faculty get to May and say, yikes, the semester is almost over. Set a reminder and be aware of how quickly the semester’s end is approaching. Additionally, you may have to recommit to your to-do list. Also, recommit to writing down the tasks needing to be done, as it is easy to rely on things being top of mind and then slipping away from priority as the end of semester drive to the finish line begins. So, plan, and be intentional with adding things to your to-do list and tackling them as they come along.
Tips for Faculty and Staff #2:
Getting organized can be directly linked to planning. Getting organized can also mean sorting out your important documents, committee work, and grading. Creating a filing and storage system that works for you might be beneficial, so you can quickly access end-of-semester evaluations, grades, or other documents. Creating a filing and storage system, such as a Google Drive or Cloud folder, is a practical end of semester survival tip and one way to manage your important documents. This way, you could quickly shuffle emails/documents/and files into one space to access when needed. Additionally, create priority levels and folders for your email as well. Managing your chaos of tons of emails could be half the battle.
Tips for Faculty and Staff #3:
Connect, Reconnect, and Stay Connected!
In my experience as a faculty member, in the past, it has been easy to isolate myself from my colleagues as I am so busy I just need to “get it done!” I have found that while this approach can feel very effective at the moment, it has not been the most beneficial to my mental health and wellness. I encourage you to find time to connect, reconnect, and stay connected to colleagues, friends, and family, even when the end-of-semester commotion starts. You don’t have to commit to every social event or outing and be sure not to cancel plans before even considering how stepping away from the end-of-semester chaos can be the self-care and boost of energy you need to finish the semester strong.
Tips for Faculty and Staff #4:
Staying connected could bring much joy. So, do stay connected. It would help if you considered what else brings you joy outside of being a faculty member and engage in some of those things, even at the end of the semester. Do not neglect your happiness for the sake of trying to “get things done!” I encourage you to create a list or menu of options that bring you joy so that when you get to the end of the semester, you can pull an option from your list that brings you delight in the chaos. Personal examples of options on my menu include taking time to watch one of my favorite tv shows, having brunch with friends, and blocking time on my schedule to do NOTHING!
Antione D. Tomlin, PhD, PCC is a tenure-track Associate Professor + Chair of the Academic Literacies Department at Anne Arundel Community College. Dr. Tomlin is also an ICF Certified Life Coach.
Feel free to join in the conversation on Twitter at @TomlinAntione.
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