Tag Archives: energy


Match Your Tasks to Your Energy Level

dog jumping over hurdle

Although we all enjoy the same 168 hours per week, the quality of our hours throughout the day varies depending on our circadian rhythms, sleep quality and quantity, stress levels, and the demands upon our time. In the summer, many academics have more flexible schedules, at least during the months when they are not teaching. Knowing how to best match your tasks to your energy cycles can help you work better and have more time for relaxation.

Even if I could wave a magic wand and give ten people…


Self Care for the New Semester

oxygen masks

So the new semester has started: your syllabi are done, you’re learning your students’ names, and you’re getting used to your new schedule. You’ve mapped out your goals and your lesson plans for your courses, and you’ve probably set some research goals for the semester too. What’s going to help you achieve all those well-made plans? Taking time to strategically plan for your own self-care.

The familiar reminder during the airline safety talk about putting your own oxygen mask on first before he…


Are You Fully Charged?

charging laptop

Tom Rath’s 2015 book, Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life, focuses on three areas that contribute to a daily experience of greater engagement, well-being, and productivity — what Rath calls being “fully charged.” These three areas are:

Meaning: doing something that benefits another person
Interactions: creating for more positive than negative moments
Energy: making choices that improve your mental and physical health

Throughout the numerous short chapters th…


Four Chemistry-Approved Ways to Stay Awake Without Caffeine


Now that the fall semester has either started, or is looming ominously, there’s a pretty good chance that you’lll occasionally find yourself in need of a pick-me-up. And while coffee/tea are great, sometimes, you need something a little less shocking to your system. Fortunately, the American Chemical Society has you covered, and they bring amazing news (via Lifehacker):

That’s right: You’re not procrastinating by watching viral cat or puppy videos: you’re improving your alertness and attention…


Open Thread Wednesday: How to Keep Your Energy Level Up

It’s June, the weather’s getting warmer in South Carolina, I’m teaching a summer course, and by early afternoon I’m ready to take a nap for pretty much the rest of the day. This experience has me thinking about how to do a better job of managing my energy. Over at WebMD, Peter Jaret shares “9 Ways to Get Your Energy Back,” straightforward suggestions involving such things as food, sleep, and exercise. I’m considering this month a personal experiment into this topic, so I’m going to make a few c…


Time Travel to Plan Your Semester

push to travel Whether your institution requires early submission of your syllabus and course materials, or whether you just have to have to be ready for that first day of class, if you are teaching this fall, you will probably soon be spending some time creating syllabi, assignments, and course websites. Preparing your course outline is just one small part of the chaos of the first week of the fall term, which often brings excitement, pressure, or nervousness both for faculty and students. It’s easy to focus…


What Are You Not Doing Right Now?

puppiesAs Jason recently explained in What We Talk About When We Talk About Productivity, here at ProfHacker, “We’re less interested in helping you be more productive in the abstract than in solving specific productivity-related problems, especially the crippling self-punishment associated with anxieties about productivity.”

In that spirit, here are a few questions that can increase your awareness about how you’re spending your time and energy.

What are you doing right now? The first step in cultivatin…


Take a Better Nap

catnapTaking a nap is one of the most efficient ways to rest and refresh your body and mind at once. Yet most of us have had the experience of getting up from an impromptu nap and feeling worse, rather than better, than before. That groggy, mud-for-brains confusion is enough to make anyone scared of naps as potential productivity quagmires rather than the boost that they can be. So here are my favorite  strategies for getting the most out of your nap time.

Rule #1: Set an alarm.
Setting an alarm does …


When Teaching Goes Past Your Bedtime

The Moon Window

Last spring, I found myself teaching two courses that ran almost in to the Daily Show’s nightly timeslot. Before the semester started, I worried about the time-frame: how should I keep students energized and engaged at that late hour? And, given that in my post-grad school days I wait for late night TV to hit the Internet in favor of a good night of sleep, how could I keep my own energy levels up to par?

The answers I came up with seemed obvious: drink caffeine. Sleep in the morning of the nigh…