New faculty members are bombarded with a plethora of new duties. Clinical and teaching work tends to take precedence because of their urgency, while scholarship and professional development is at risk of neglect until those tasks becomes urgent as well. So how does a faculty member stay on top of all of these tasks?
Many faculty make weekly to-do lists and day to day lists in order to stay up to date on current projects. I have found that using a structured to-do list is very helpful in getting more done. The list helps me navigate the academic workload and maintain a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Another benefit to using to-do lists is that it increases my productivity. Psychology studies show that by writing down what you have to do, you unburden the brain from worrying about what you need do to and can actually accomplish more (The Zeigarnik effect).