“Should I have a (second) kid before tenure/X article published/fieldwork?” There’s always a next thing. You have to make your life now.

“Can I change my name after marriage?” Do what you think is the right thing to do. Don’t worry too much about the profession. This is your life.

You can have it all. Just not all at once. Balance is intertemporal. Balance in the panel, not the cross-section.


Beware the siren call of students in need: we can’t fix all the problems our students have. Our role is to connect them to resources better equipped to help them than we are.

If you have trouble recognizing what you cannot fix, you need a therapist.


If you don’t take time to do something non-work that’s really important to you, you won’t have the energy/acuity to do your work well.

Create a routine to meet all your needs: work, family, health, social.

Put exercise on your calendar. Use a fake name for the appointment to disguise from students/colleagues.

Make email filters so you only see controversial emails when you have space to process them. E.g. difficult committees or faculty list serves.


Anything you can pay people to do, pay them to do it. Outsource. If it’s for your kids, pay them well. Efficiency wages inspire loyalty, dependability.

Only check email first thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon. Huge efficiency gain and many fires put themselves out.

President Obama avoided decision fatigue by avoiding unnecessary decisions. Make an Excel spreadsheet with 12 outfits in rotation. “This is one of the outfits! Yes, even the scarf is in the spreadsheet.”

Saying No

Best advice of the workshop: “What would a hot shot do?” said like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. “Cuz that’s what you should do.”

Need a script for saying no? CSWEP has that here.