Managing Your Academic Workload


Extract from Issue#37 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

All issues of Teaching Tuesdays can be accessed through the folder at this link

What can I do to manage and reduce academic work stress?

By Dr Stephanie Delaney


Common contributors to academic work stress include problems related to working with students, work-related stress and workplace political issues.

This short presentation provides practical advice with examples of how to deal with these stressors. Associated materials provide worksheets for you to develop your own resources and references for further reading.

Strategies for limiting the impact of stress

1. Anticipate student-related problems

  • Based on your experience, proactively work on your responses to typical student problems.
  • Create your own personal resource collection so you know where to send students for support outside their subject needs.

2. Anticipate work-related problems

  • Read your emails! – not just emails from your students.
  • Do the worst tasks first, such as having difficult conversations.
  • Keep a journal – there is a link here to a great idea – the 10-year Journal – helpful for identifying recurring themes in your work life.
  • Create your own personal resource collection so you know where to go for your own needs.

3. “Sharpen the saw” (from Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”)

  • Engage in professional development – on- and off-campus for a range of reasons. (NOTE: As you are developing your EDRS for next year, plan for this)
  • Engage in on-campus professional development related to your teaching resources.
  • Take care of yourself – includes guidance on brainstorming how to use unscheduled extra time.

For access instructions to Mentor Commons, contact

Ellen McIntyre

Matthew Larnach

Further reading …

Timeless Quotes for Teaching and Learning Inspiration

Working to Make a Difference

QUOTE: “…the importance of what we do course after course, semester after semester, year after year doesn’t change. It’s just as important the first time you teach, the last time, and all those times in between. In the beginning, most of us aspire to make a big difference in lots of students’ lives. After a few years we’re more realistic, puttering along, doing our best not to make a difference in the wrong direction, not making a difference at all, maybe making a little difference, but still believing that what we teach and what students can learn has the power to make a huge difference.”

Reflections on Teaching: Learning from Our Stories

QUOTE: “If you’re looking for a good professional reading experience this summer, this is the book I’d recommend. You don’t often find pedagogical reading that effectively offers both information and inspiration.

Reference: Shadiow, L. K. What Our Stories Teach Us: A Guide to Critical Reflection for College Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012. Available as an eBook from CSU Library.