4 Tips for Coping With the Workload of Being an Academic Professional

4 Tips for Coping With the Workload of Being an Academic Professional
  • Opening Intro -

    Many outsiders see professors and view them as having relatively easy lives and workloads.

    They focus on how those people don't have to teach classes through the summer, and they often get invited to speak at conferences, along with being associated with other prestigious events.


But, the reality is that academic professionals often have continually intensive workloads.

In addition to preparing the lectures they teach students, those academics keep office hours and often get saddled with administrative tasks. Moreover, there’s an academic phenomenon where academics have to frequently publish papers to prove to their employers that they’re worth keeping employed or hiring at all. As such, the phrase “publish or perish” encapsulates the drive to get published.

Here are four things that you, as a current or prospective academic professional, can do to cope with the realities of these heavy workloads.

1. Make Time Management a Priority

Time management is something you’ll hear about a lot in the academic world, but it’s not merely something to coach your grad students about if they get behind schedule while writing their theses. You need to practice it every day and devote time and energy towards learning new time management skills when necessary.

As a start, pay attention to the time you spend doing seemingly simple tasks, like checking email. Also, be aware of any steps in your work processes that could be shortened or eliminated. Making small changes could result in major payoffs.

2. Keep Tabs On Your Stress Levels

It’s also essential to stay mindful of your stress. If your stress level is constantly high, you’ll likely get worn down and find you’re unable to be maximally productive despite all other efforts.

Also, don’t be afraid to confide in other people, such as fellow academic professionals or a mental health expert, if you find that the stress gets too much to bear, and your self-care strategies don’t give enough relief. Recognizing you need help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

3. Create Realistic Timelines Associated With Journal Publications

As mentioned earlier, most academics have to get regularly published in academic journals to show their peers, employers, and prospective academic partners that they’re productive and able to stay up-to-date with developments in their fields. You should find it easier to cope with the workload of academia by making an authentic timeline to help you progress through the journal publication process.

One necessary step is to think about which academic publishers you may want to align yourself with and ensure you have the correct information about each one. For example, Bentham Science, also known by its full name of Bentham Science Publishers, is associated with over 100 academic journals.

In the past, people have deemed Bentham Science predatory. However, the Bentham Science Publishers homepage has a section that assures readers it has never engaged in predatory publishing practices. You can also visit other Bentham Science resources online to get a clearer picture of the company and how it operates.

The point is that getting published requires spending time on tasks other than writing and editing your paper. If you stay aware of those responsibilities, it’ll be easier to remain level-headed and not get overwhelmed during your ongoing quest for publication.

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4. Know When to Turn Down Requests

It can be intensely difficult to avoid saying “no” when people put demands on your time as an academic. That’s often because academics want to come across as impressive, available, or eager to please. Once you understand how and why to set boundaries regarding your time, you should gradually become more comfortable with saying “no.”

Learning to turn down work as necessary will help you avoid getting burned out. It’ll also give you more available hours and minutes to focus on the things that matter most to you.

Try applying these four strategies no matter what stage you’re at in your academic career. They should reap rewards for you as you learn how to thrive in the industry.

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Categories: Education Tips