Avoiding Train Wrecks

Do you get “derailed” because of “train wrecks”?  One of our Just Whelmed R & D team members characterizes part of her story that way:

I have a great job at a university as an assistant professor, and have a relatively low teaching load, but am responsible for a fair amount of research. I wanted this workload split so I could maintain maximum flexibility, as I have a chronic illness and need to be able to work from home when I’m not well, but can make it in a few hours a week for teaching and office hours.

Recently I had a period in which even though I had carefully planned to avoid taking on intensive research projects during my heavy teaching semester, my co-researchers and I ended up having to host a large conference during this term because our funder had gotten money to us late which prevented it from occurring in the fall when I had more time. On top of this, I had other conference travel I had to complete, and then a family member passed away so dealing with all of this became quickly overwhelming.

My chronic illness flared up, and I spent the next month on antibiotics. Now, school is near its semester’s end, and I am feeling much more balanced, but it would be good to avoid train wrecks like this semester.


So – what is your best tip for avoiding train wrecks?  Post it in the comments section, please.



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