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Summer Accountability

Tips on ways to stay on track to meet summer goals. 

August 4, 2019
 
 

We are well past the halfway point of summer and it’s hard to believe that August is just a few days away. Many of us have major goals of things we want to accomplish over the summer. How’s that going? How have you kept on track this summer? Who have you been checking in with? 

 

Niya Bond, University of Maine

This summer I decided to prioritize two things: public scholarship and personal time. I met my goals for the former early on through an individual blog submission and a collaborative creation with a friend and colleague. Social justice warrior work: ✅. Because I’m waiting to move on to something new until I hear back about those projects, and because I don’t have summers off, and that means I am still fully engaged in my multiple roles as an onsite and online educator, I decided that my overarching aim for the summer should be to avoid the seemingly never-ending grind of accomplishing it all. Thus, this summer, I have been successful in reading for fun, creating valuable memories with my family, and making sure to take the time to enjoy the quiet of a moment I might otherwise have been rushing to fill with noise. Strategic staving off of burnout: ✅. Now, when the fall rolls around, I’ll be ready to amp up the accomplishments in all arenas, nicely nourished and full of productive potential. 

 

Lee Skallerup Bessette, Georgetown University

I meant to comment on the last prompt about promoting our work since that’s one of the main things I’ve been doing this summer and will be working on into the new year...but then I went on a mini-writing retreat and everything else kinda fell away. But, the mini-writing retreat was one of the ways that I made time and space for my writing projects that I’m working on. It wasn’t as productive as I wanted it to be (although my to-do list was overly ambitious and was basically WRITE ALL THE THINGS!) but it ended up being productive in the way I ultimately needed it to be. So much of what we do in higher education is hurry up and wait. I stay productive by making sure I have lots of different things on the go, so during the wait time, I can stay busy. The clock is ticking, and I’m already seeing the inevitable shortfalls, but already planning on how to keep the momentum going into the start of the academic year. 

 

Melissa Nicolas, Washington State University

Knowing I was moving this summer and transitioning into a new position, I set modest writing goals. And, strategically, the goals I set involved collaborators so that I had some built-in accountability. With a few weeks left to go before school starts up, I am pleasantly surprised to notice that I have met my writing goals---for the first summer ever! Even though the goals seemed small at the time, reaching them has moved my research agenda significantly forward and done wonders for my confidence: I don’t feel stalled, disappointed, angry with myself, or resentful of my (perceived) lack of time management skills. This will be the first academic year I begin not already feeling behind the eight- ball. The lesson here is that if I can set reasonable goals, achievable goals, not grandiose plans to write an entire corpus, and, if I build in accountability, I might be able to get out of the “set-up ridiculous plan; don’t talk to anyone about my research/writing; fall short of realizing plan; decide I am a failure at writing; get a bad case of writer’s block” cycle I always seem to find myself in. Fingers crossed!!!

 

Who are you checking in with this summer?

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