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Friday, September 28, 2012

Top Sabbatical Tips

How do you waste a sabbatical? What are the top 5 ways of not getting anything done during extended time off?

1. Don't start working right away. The sabbatical lasts a long time, so you don't want to start right away. Maybe the first of October is a good start date, or the first of March for the spring semester.

2. Travel a lot. Since you have so much time, schedule as many trips as possible. That will break up your rhythm of work and prevent you from ever getting into a groove.

3. Don't set up any specific goals for what you want to get accomplished every week, every month, or during the entire sabbatical. For God's sake never create a daily schedule of work! After all, you have six months with no other responsibilities to worry about. You don't want to constrain your time with a petty schedule.

4.Make sure you say yes to all other opportunities. Review a book? Sure. A tenure case? Why not? Remember, your time is infinite. You can fill the days with other projects and your writing will still get done, because you have all the time in the world.

5. Once December, or July, comes, it is time to stop working on research and begin to think about teaching again. Sure, you didn't get as much done as you could have during those infinite 6 months, but academia is hard! Without having a leave, it is impossible to get anything done, since who can write during the school year when time is not infinite?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Twice it has happened to me that I get a rare sabbatical, and then the state institution-crippling cuts (like 35%), and we all spend the entire semester on the market and also trying to get houses ready to sell. I think I have the opposite of a Midas touch: if I do not have a sabbatical, we will not have an institutional crisis.

I need to attain the calm of some professors I had in Latin America, working during wartime.