Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Opportunities List

About once a week I post an opportunities list on our Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard. This gives news of many opportunities for publication, performance or work. I vet what is offered very carefully, even though most of the opportunities come from two very reliable sources.


Audience for the list

This is aimed mainly at undergraduates, though it is offered also to our Masters students. As well as posting it on Blackboard, I email it out to subscribers on a list. These are former students and also other people I’ve met when I’ve offered workshops outside the university. I even use the list myself.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Inbox stress – is there a way to avoid it?

That sinking feeling

There isn’t much about my job that I don’t like. There may be a little too much admin but even that is manageable if you just get on and do it and if you allow it its rightful position; it’s important and needs to be done effectively but is not as important as some other aspects of the job.
No, what I really dread is opening my inbox – especially after an absence or even on a Monday when they’ve continued to flow in over the weekend even though I don’t look at them. My refusal to look at them after about 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday and at the weekend comes from my attempt to manage all the other work that is part of my role. I do work in the evening and at the weekend quite frequently, just not on email.  
Frequently in my inbox are:
  • Complaints
  • Problems I can’t solve quickly
  • Students wishing to make appointments
  • Questions that I can answer
  • Questions that I can’t answer and I don’t know who can.
  • More work
  • News - some interesting and useful, some less so.
  • Very occasionally, a nice one, saying thank you or bringing some really good news
Every day I spend a couple of hours sorting them all out. I’m nervous, with physical symptoms to prove that, every time I open my inbox and I want that to stop happening.
I am beginning to devise some strategies.