I recently asked ChatGPT what the best schedule for a professor looks like, and this is what I got:
A professor’s workday may look a little different than other professionals, given the nature of their role. Here’s a sample timeline that takes into account the tasks and responsibilities that a professor may have:
- 7:00-8:00 AM: Wake up, exercise, and have a healthy breakfast.
- 8:00-9:00 AM: Review and respond to any emails or messages.
- 9:00 AM-12:00 PM: Prepare and hold office hours for students.
- 12:00-1:00 PM: Take a lunch break, go for a walk, and recharge your batteries.
- 1:00-3:00 PM: Work on research or writing projects.
- 3:00-4:00 PM: Attend a department meeting or scheduled meeting with colleagues.
- 4:00-6:00 PM: Prepare for tomorrow’s classes or meetings, and grade any assignments.
- 6:00 PM: Celebrate your accomplishments and unwind with a relaxing activity.
This is just a sample timeline, and a professor’s workday may also include other responsibilities, such as attending conferences, meeting with students or colleagues, or participating in committees. The key is to find a routine that works for you, stick to it, and continuously evaluate and make improvements to increase your productivity and overall work satisfaction.
Here are a few things I observed about this schedule:
- The ideal professor does not seem to have any teaching? They have office hours and a fair chunk of time to prepare for class.
- Definitely is missing more meetings.
- No commute?
- I’d rather work on research and writing in the morning and have office hours in the afternoon.
- 8pm to 6pm is a long day – why not fit the ideal day in a 9am to 5pm schedule?
- It does seem like a relatively calm and spacious schedule – and maybe that is something I need to learn from. Instead of scheduling blocks of 1-1.5h, I would prefer to have 2-3 hour blocks for long and undisturbed focus.
What does your day look like? Is it similar to the ChatGPT professor’s schedule?