Work-Life and Work-Work Balance in 2018: Winter Study Days



Happy 2018 everyone. One of my resolutions this year is to try to find better work-life balance. As an academic, I also believe I should try to improve my work-work balance, ensuring I’m giving the appropriate time to my teaching, research, and service activities. Like most resolutions, turning those intentions into actions is easier said than done.

As FAUW President, I want to see all UW faculty find the appropriate work-life and work-work balance. What that is for each of you is individual and different. I imagine that, to most of us, ideal solutions would include a 36-hr day or cloning ourselves. But there are realistic actions we can take and I want to encourage all of you to do three things in the hopes of improving your work-life and/or work-work balance in 2018:

  1. Make sure the week of February 19–23 is in your calendar as ‘Reading Week’ or ‘Winter Term Study Days’ or ‘Spring Break’. Additionally, to ensure marital bliss, I also strongly suggest those of with families block off February 19 as something called ‘Family Day’.
  2. Plan to do what you want to do on Reading Week! Say no to other things in order to make this happen.
  3. Think twice about scheduling any type of committee/service meetings during Reading Week and maybe even cancel them.

I am following my own advice. My Outlook calendar is updated, and I am planning to do what I really want that week: work-life balance with a family holiday and then some work-work balance by working on a manuscript in desperate need of finishing. I have cancelled all FAUW meetings that week to ensure my fellow FAUW Board members can focus on what they want, too.

If you haven’t already decided, start thinking about what you want to do this Reading Week. Some ideas:

  • Take some real time off and go on a holiday
  • Read that book you’ve been wanting to read
  • Write that code you promised you would finish
  • Get your next manuscript submitted
  • Work on that next grant application
  • Review and comment on your student’s thesis that has been on your desk too long
  • Develop that new course assignment you have told yourself you would develop the last two times you taught the course
  • Experience a Netflix binge

What do you want to do?

Have a productive, balanced and healthy 2018.


Bryan Tolson, FAUW President

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