1. Decide this is a good position for you for now.
- Enjoy making friends with your coworkers
- Don't treat it as merely a means-to-an-end
2. Stop taking advice on how to be successful.
- What people suggest is often overwhelming (and not feasible for everyone)
- Find your own goals and your own road for getting there
3. Create a "feel good" email folder.
- Emails of praise, offers, acceptances, etc.
- To be opened and reread whenever you feel insecure
4. Work a fixed number of hours and a fixed amount.
- Here, I quote her directly, since she shares a lot of detail about her method here:
- "I travel at most 5 times a year. This includes: all invited lectures, all panel meetings, conferences, special workshops, etc. [...] It is *not easy* to say no that often, especially when the invitations are so attractive, or when the people asking are so ungraceful in accepting no for an answer. But when I didn’t have this limit I noticed other things. Like how exhausted and unhappy I was, how I got sick a lot, how it affected my kids and my husband, and how when I stopped traveling I had so much more time to pay real attention to my research and my amazing students.
- I have a quota for non-teaching/research items. Just like the travel, I have a fixed number of paper reviews (usually 10), fixed number of graduate and undergraduate recruiting or mingling events, and fixed number of departmental committees I am allowed to do each year. I also do one “special” thing per year that might be time consuming, e.g. being on a conference senior program committee [...] But only 1 per year. As soon as I sign up for that one, all present and future opportunities are an automatic no (Makes you think a lot before you say “yes”, no?). Plus, there are things that are really important to me that don’t get enforced externally. Like making time to meet other women in computer science, and doing a certain amount of outreach to non-Harvard audiences. If I’m not careful, I end up with no time for these less promoted events. And if I end up with no time for these, I end up a very bitter person. I have a quota to prevent me from accidently getting bitter.
- I also have a weekly hard/fun quota There are things that for some reason are super hard, or bring out your worst procrastination habits. For me, that’s grant reports and writing recommendations. There are also things that are really fun. For me, that’s making logos and t-shirts and hacking on my website. If I can do 1 hard thing per week, and 1 fun thing per week, then I declare victory. That was a good week, by a reasonable measure of goodness."
- And her weekend advice: "The weekend is either for getting organized at home or just spending [with people]." If you have kids, carve out a chunk of your budget to get household help one to two times a week, to create more time for yourself on the weekends to be together as a family.
5. Try to be the best "whole" person you can.
- Don't buy into the idea that not being the "best" at one part of your life means you suck
- It is not a compromise; you are being the "best" at being a complete and happy person
6. Find real friends.
- People who think you're special
- Friends "not in your field but in your 'court'"
7. Have fun NOW.
- "Demote the prize [career] so the risk becomes less" when you dare to enjoy yourself
- Take as much vacation as possible, during which NO EMAIL