101* tips to be a super-efficient academic

Jul 13 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

1. Don't answer email. Seriously, just don't. The minute you send a response to an email that will tell someone that you are ready for another email. And then you will have even MORE emails to answer. It is a vicious circle, and the only escape is to never answer an email. If someone really wants to talk to you they will stop by your office.

2. Don't answer the phone. You know it is just a sales rep that wants you to buy a $5000 "service contract" on your $7000 refrigerated incubator.3. Don't learn how the voicemail system works. It is arcane and stupid. And besides, you really don't care what the message says anyway.

4. DO keep bourbon (or another suitable liquor) in your office. Then when you need a drink you won't have to go far.

5. DO get a big computer screen. At least 32". You want to be able to have multiple browser windows and documents going at the same time.

6. Don't write blog posts when you should be working on grants/manuscripts/etc. [ed: DAMMIT!]

7. Don't run track workouts in the morning after not getting enough sleep. You will spend your entire day staring blankly out the window. And also you'll be hungry all day. True story. [ed: DAMMIT!]

8. DO blast music in your office. This will allow you to easily ignore the folks that you don't want to talk to anyway.

9. If you have had a browser window open for more than 2 days, just close it. You will never read that page. And anyway it's out of date by now anyway.

10. read ALL the instructions before you start writing the grant

11. wait 2 days after reading reviews before starting to write rebuttals to reviewer comments

12. make lists. But if you have to make lists about where your lists are, then you are doing it wrong. Know also that no amount of "productivity software" will ever actually make you more productive.


And there you have it. Now get back to work!


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