Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Doctor is In

One of the things I wanted to do with this blog was dispense useful advice, and having nothing better to write about today, here goes.

To be successful as a woman with children on the tenure track, I advise you do three things:
1. Do not be a perfectionist. If you are a perfectionist by nature you should immediately quit your job and stay home with your children, because just keeping your house clean and your children clothed with take all of your time.
2. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Find a graduate student to do most of your work for you.
3. Say no to every request from professors (they can get along fine without you) and other adults. Say yes to students only on rare occasions. Say yes to your children only about 70% of the time. Before agreeing to do anything for professors or students, ask yourself, "how is this going to help me get tenure?" If the answer isn't obvious, say no. Before saying yes to your children, verify that their request complies with all local and federal statutes and is covered by your health insurance and/or homeowners policy.

Following these three simple rules will ensure that you do not end up overburdened.

Rule #3 tends to be the hardest for people, so as a companion, here is a list of things NOT to do.

1. do not read anything that might be educational.
2. do not write progress reports (students should be doing this).
3. do not prepare for class.
4. do not clean up after your children if they are 3 or older.
5. do not clean up after your husband.
6. do not cook meals with more than 4 ingredients.
7. do not answer the telephone.
8. do not check your email more than twice an hour.
9. do not watch television.
10. do not throw parties.

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