407

It depends entirely on whether you have consulted the other meeting participants. There is nothing inherently wrong about an 8 a.m. meeting if it is convenient for everyone involved. If you have set the time without consulting the other participants, there are two serious problems. You may be giving one or more of them a practical problem. For example, ...


170

Early (or late) meetings are generally unreasonable. Some people naturally wake up early, while others stay up late and are more productive in the evening. If you force people to attend meetings that are too early or too late for them, they will be physically present but may not contribute that much due to being too tired. What constitutes an early or late ...


128

Different areas of work look differently. A mechanic, a tailor or a miner perform visible physical operations and deliver an objective and measurable result by hour. Compared with them, office work may seem lazy: people sit at their desks, they are not sweating, can have toilet and drink breaks whenever they want, etc. Also, the result of their work seems ...


125

The answer is no. There are a lot of factors in play. With my work, a lot of it is creative so it is hard to say when I am working or not. Do people expect students to work that many hours? Maybe, but it isn't healthy (and maybe not legal). Do people really work the entire time they are at work? Probably not. Your productivity certainly goes down the ...


118

It is not unreasonable, but it might annoy your graduate students. I myself wouldn't like it because it would mean that I have to get up an hour earlier than my girlfriend. Maybe one should set the question the other way round: What is your disadvantage if you meet at nine? Is it important for you to meet your students first thing in the morning? ...


104

There are three basic approaches to handling this: Paul Erdos' approach. Pros: it worked for Erdos, after a fashion. Cons: you are not Erdos. Crack, maybe have a psychotic episode, and leave academia. Pros: it's the easiest course, and the one you're on now. Cons: everything else about it. Recognize that your career is not a sprint, but a marathon, and ...


101

Do not fall into the trap of assuming that "Value of work done" is proportional to "Hours spent at a desk". Some HR departments do think this way, but it's rarely true.


95

Basically because schooling is the inverse of farming. That is: Historically farming and feeding the family (and community) took precedence over all other considerations. This is primarily a job that takes place through the spring, summer, and fall -- with little or no activity possible in the winter. Therefore in most cultures the original calendar year ...


94

Given that you can't do something that requires your full attention during this time, I would at least advise to follow Matt Might's advice to procrastinate productively on meta-work: Read articles (or answers on Academia.SE!) about how to be more productive as a grad student. Read a few pages of a book on data analysis, visualization, academic writing, or ...


91

I'm sure some advisors do act this way. I don't think it's very common, but it does happen. It's more common for advisors to expect certain results than a particular hourly commitment, but all these things are a matter of extent. However, in trying to figure out whether to switch advisors, I think you're asking yourself the wrong question. The right ...


91

It's socially acceptable to do (almost) whatever you want during academic "free time". Ultimately what matters are the results you produce, and as long as you're able to do that most people will not care if you're reading general interest books, drinking coffee, or answering questions on StackExchange. Of course, if you have assigned duties (e.g. teaching ...


87

First, it is important to deploy your scientific skepticism in assessing this claim. The source, after all, is the American Enterprise Institute, which is a political "think tank" that is explicitly dedicated to pushing a particular point of view. Other key elements of its scientific record including taking tobacco company money to produce pro-smoking ...


81

This is a bit opinion-based, but I'll offer my own personal take on an answer in the hopes that it might be useful; at least parts of what I wrote below seem pretty generally applicable to me. Is it possible to survive/remain in academia by working normal hours (8-9 hours per day) without working evenings, weekends, holidays, without feeling guilty about ...


74

In answer to the question of "Is this expectation usual," I offer the current state of the following completely unscientific survey from the Adventures in Ethics and Science blog. The question asked is, "My graduate advisor expects or requires me to work...", and as of right now, 68/650 respondents (about 10.5%) report that they believe their advisor ...


74

Accept that what you are doing when working with undergraduate researchers is teaching and developing young scientists. Make that mental shift, and your view of productivity changes enormously. Even the very best undergraduates I've had -- students who now have R1 faculty positions or equivalent -- were time-sinks at first and break-even after a year or ...


65

In 1961, one could easily get a good job paying a reasonable salary with the possibility of continued promotions without going to college. This is much less true in 2003, so many people are going to college not out of interest but as a default choice. Hence, while the population going to college in 1961 did so because they were interested in academics, ...


63

The extent to which academics lead deadline-driven lives varies tremendously. It differs between fields (even otherwise similar fields; for example, theoretical computer science tends to have far more paper submission deadlines than pure mathematics does), between types of institutions (such as research universities vs. liberal arts colleges), between ...


61

Congratulations on getting to lead a small team! You might want to look into developing your leadership skills and techniques to help you with your new responsibility. After all, leading people is about more than instructing them. A good question you can ask yourself about the appropriateness of your requests: How would it feel if this would be other way ...


59

TL; DR: 51 work hours a week with 12 vacation days a year It is very difficult to assess how hard someone works. It is relatively easy to quantify the input (number of hours worked and the number of vacation days taken) and the output (papers and grants). In 2003 the Sigma Xi post doc society in the US began collecting data from 7600 post docs across 46 ...


55

Here's an experiment you might try: Next time you see one of those "lazy" instructors staring at the computer screen, ask them how many graduate students they are advising. Then ask if you can read the latest drafts of all the theses and dissertations for each one of those students. Then ask if you can read all the latest drafts of the papers that this ...


53

Most people who brag about how many hours they work are inefficient. Because they are inefficient, they feel a need to point out how many hours they work - rather than pointing to the quality of work. Keep this in mind. Some PhD programs will allow you to be more isolated from non-PhD related work than others. If you have to teach, for example, that might ...


51

These all sound to me like usual activities for a PhD student (the "news articles and marketing material" bit sounds a bit odd to me, but that might be more field-dependent). PhD programs are not typically designed only to allow you to do research, they are designed to teach you to do research, and furthermore to train you to be an independent researcher. ...


50

The experience of working long hours, for little pay and little power is, unfortunately, an almost universal experience for science PhD students around the world. In the UK and many other countries PhD students are not considered employees at all, and so have no contract of any kind - they are not paid a salary, but a stipend (i.e. a grant to allow them to ...


49

Why is this question being singled out for a higher standard of "statistical" reasoning than any other post on this site? I offer my experiences as an early career engineering professor in the US as "anecdotal" evidence, and do so with at least as much credibility as respondents on an anonymous survey. In my experience, it's not at all about how "hard" you ...


45

As much as I'd like to leave this as a comment, I just can't. So here's a semi-rant but very informative piece of an American student's experience, and why we don't spend as much time studying as we may have 20-30 years ago. As a full-time student with parents who have fallen into essentially infinite debt due to tax and bankruptcy laws, I have zero ...


43

I am afraid that your computation is not even wrong. You might as well ask how many hours a day you need to practice dribbling in order to be a professional basketball player. Mere knowledge of mathematics is just one component of being a professor, even a professor of pure mathematics. To become a successful mathematics professor (or any type of ...


41

I would recommend submitting, because there is a great degree of uncertainty in when you will receive a response, and even with a fast response, your allowed revision time will likely be long enough to extend beyond the vacation time in any case. If things more unexpectedly quickly, you can ask for an extension and will likely face little problem in ...


39

ff524's answer is awesome as usual, but the core problem for you may be that most of these suggestions are not, or at least not directly, useful to your research. If, as you say, most of your day is spent in this way, even "productive procrastination" may be too much procrastination and too little actual progress. In that case, you have two options: Learn ...


39

While no one is technically forcing you to do work over the summer, you'd be foolish to take extended breaks. One of the benefits of a tenured faculty position at a research university is that you get great flexibility in your schedule. Today, I left work early (e.g., 4pm) to pick up my kids at summer camp and go to the park. I have no (or almost no) ...


38

If this behavior isn't abnormal, sadly, it is certainly abhorrent. It is not acceptable for your boss to expect you to do more than the maximum allowable hours and then lie about it on a time sheet. Your university's human resources department would take a very dim view of this if they found out about it, I expect. You are being taken advantage of and I ...


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