How Academics Spend Their Time – Tell us how you spend yours?

By Teresa Chan (@TChanMD)

I stumbled upon this today, and sent it to Jonathan. He promptly assigned it to me as a writing task for the ICE blog. (Ha! Lesson learned!)

A recent news article from the “Inside Higher Ed” news outlet highlighted preliminary work from Boise State University.  Researchers have started a Time Allocation Workload Knowledge Study (TAWKS… hmmm have to work on the acroynm)

They use a novel technique of ‘24-hour recall’ (from anthropology) to ask participants to report what they did from 4am the preceding day until the interview. Researchers then code the responses to try to figure out how people spend their working hours.

All in all, they found that more than 30% of time was spent on activities that are not traditionally thought to be part of ‘academic life’  (i.e. work not involving research, administration, teaching, and course development. Most strikingly, only 3% of the workweek was spent on primary research, and 2% was spent on manuscript writing.

On top of this all, it seems being an academic is a lonely game. Respondents in this survey reported that 57% of the time they spend alone.  (15% of their time was with learners, and 17%  with peers/colleagues.)

This got me thinking. If this is the time allocation of a traditional academic, what do you think the time allocation is for a Clinician Educator?

If you will indulge me, the following is a survey that I have designed. (Its based on TAWKS… yep still a bad name)

Think back over the last 24-36 hours – since yesterday at this time, and now complete the following survey tool and tell me what you did in each time period.  Please? The ICE blog will compile the answers and share the trends!  It only takes a few seconds.

Chart from Inside Higher Ed