For many of us, when we think of Behavioral Habits, we focus on the discipline of writing, specifically time-on-task. How do we create regular time for writing? Writing doesn’t have nearly the level of accountability as, say, teaching or patient care. People expect you to show up in the classroom. Patients expect care. Writing doesn’t demand our attention in the same way. As a result, many writing productivity experts suggest scheduling writing time and keeping appointments with yourself as faithfully as you would keep an appointment to go to the doctor. No doubt, scheduling is important.
Personally, I’m pretty good at scheduling writing time, but then the inevitable meeting requests or unexpected deadlines come. I try not to let myself delete my writing time…just move the writing time elsewhere on the calendar. But, it’s tough, right? It’s easy to prioritize the urgent because it’s…urgent. But, there are also things that are important, like writing. There’s no easy answer here. However, the distinction between urgent and important may be helpful as you continue to work with your calendar and have conversations at your institution.
The kicker, for me, has been the amount of time. If I’m supposed to be 20% research, that’s 8 hours a week. Where is that 8 hours really coming from? Am I really scheduling (and keeping) that much? Faculty success folks will argue that we need to honestly examine where we spend our time. In addition, is our time well-aligned with our job expectations?
Whew! That was a lot of food for thought. If you’re got any tips for scheduling writing or creating accountability, please share them on Twitter at #RxWritingChallenge or on Facebook at Rx Writers Unite.