“Over the break…” what famous last words for a faculty member. No matter how realistic I think I am, I seem to fall into the trap of thinking that I will accomplish massive amounts of previously unconquerable work during a break – no matter how short that break is.
With a dual appointment, it is even more challenging to consider what I can or cannot accomplish in the breaks (few and far between in a 12-month appointment). For some reason, I think I will re-design an entire course or review multiple texts and prep for new courses. Or, the biggest break from reality, write an entire grant.
I often start back bemoaning my far-reaching goals and wondering “what was I thinking?” when looking at that massive to-do list.
We truly do need actual non-working down time. It is challenging to get that mental release when we feel behind at work and then like quasi-failures during vacations from work when we don’t accomplish everything we’ve promised ourselves we would.
It is almost a set-up-to-fail cycle and I hear many of my colleagues doing the same thing, semester after semester, break after break.
Will this be the time I break through this cycle?
Author of article – Lora Helvie-Mason