Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The 100% myth

One thing that is now a nodding-in-agreement topic in academia is how overworked we are. Not that it has led to meaningful evaluations of people's efforts in any way but one can get a nod of symphathy out of most people when complaining about the workload.

Something that is not so often considered is how we arrive at said workload. It happens when we (or those doing the planning for us, but let's be honest here it is us) plan for anything. Subconsciously or not, the assumed our performance is 100%. On a flat, even surface with factory settings. But we rarely function at 100%. Your car engine certainly doesn't. No one else does all the time.

R told me to aim for 70%, and expect 50% from time to time. That does make planning anything much more realistic. And my own evaluation of my performance teaching etc.

I blame all those idealized models for our poor planning model. Assume spherical professor in a vacuum with no friction from paperwork.

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