I have been swamped at work lately! It’s been going well, though; I’d much rather be busy than bored. My new assignment is working out and everything is starting to come together. I’m getting myself organized and I’m starting to feel like I’m swimming instead of slipping underwater! The longer I work in the academic publishing field, the more I realize how important organization is to me, not only in my career but in my personal life.

One of the things I started doing almost every weeknight for the past year or so is laying out my clothes the night before work. I can’t tell you how much of a difference this makes in my morning–I’m less stressed because I already know what I’m wearing that day. Because it makes my life so much easier, I’ve been forcing myself to do this every weeknight so that I can save time getting ready in the morning and face my day with little to no pre-stress!

I also do the same thing with food, though this is less strict for me. I try to plan my meals ahead of time when I go food shopping, and then figure out my week based on my meals once I get home. I don’t know about you, but I’m at my most cranky at the end of the day when I walk in the door after work. I’m tired, I’m trying to de-stress, and I’m thinking about everything I still need to do before the day is over. Oh, and I’m usually starving. The last thing I want to think about is preparing an elaborate meal for myself, so I make sure that I’ve prepared the night before or that morning. I’ve either defrosted something, food is waiting for me in the crock pot, or I have some sort of plan for dinner. This also prevents me from overeating and staying healthy.

I remove clutter from surfaces I use all the time, such as my coffee table and bedroom dresser (and floor…). I hate clutter–it puts me in a frame of mind that I don’t like, so I’ve been trying to be more minimalist with my things recently. I don’t know if the open floor plan at work is seeping into my home life, but the lack of stuff is one of the things I like the most about our office. It’s much harder for someone to keep too much with them all day since they have to lug it around and put it away at the end of the day.

I’ve found that the more I organize things to suit my needs, the happier, calmer, and more productive I am. What I outlined above doesn’t work for everyone (I know–one of my closest friends swears she actually thinks more clearly when she’s surrounded by her work), but work out a system for your life. It helps!



I’m finally taking my first vacation since August 2017. Unlike August, this vacation isn’t attached to any conventions or traveling plans. I’m just at home relaxing and reinvigorating my mind. For the past two days (Monday and Tuesday) I’ve been using the time off from work to catch up on one of my favorite hobbies, video games.  However, I’ve been using my vacation to leisurely catch up on errands and other tasks. It has been nice completing chores and needed tasks without having to worry about getting everything done before work or jamming said tasks into the weekend.


During the first half of my week I’ve been able to:

  • Finally take my car in for its PA state inspection. My inspection tags expired at the end of October and I had been driving around with expired tags for three months. No need to worry about my tags for another year.
  • Repair and organize a few things around the house.
  • Get laundry done. Including taking larger items to the laundromat.


For the second half of my week I plan to:

  • Finally cleanup email inboxes and unsubscribe from newsletters that no longer interest me.
  • Do my federal, state, and city income taxes. Since I’ve become a landlord the process has become complicated and time-consuming, but not impossible to do on my own.
  • Start the process of revamping my personal fan site. Unfortunately, because a few important tasks have been packed into my week off, I won’t be able to exclusively work on the site. At the very least, I do want to start the process.
  • Update a few of my social media profiles.


I fully plan to achieve most of, if not all of the goals I set for myself during the week. At the same time, I plan to take a few hours here and there to enjoy hobbies without feeling guilt or worrying about work.

How do you spend your time when taking a vacation from work? Do you fill it with chores, errands, and side tasks? Or do you take a break from everything?

The Beach is Calling by Eyesplash of Flickr

The Beach is Calling by Eyesplash of Flickr. Being on the beach is what comes to mind when many people think about vacations.

I’m receiving a new assignment at work tomorrow and I’m both nervous and excited. My nervousness stems from the anticipation of having to change my day to day workflow to accommodate a new journal, but my excitement comes from the fact that I’m ready to handle this challenge. I now feel like I’m officially entrenched in this company and that I can handle most situations that come to me without having to ask for help (not that asking for help is a bad thing!).

A few months ago, a colleague of mine told me that when you work at this company, it takes about 2 years to feel like you know your job well. I believe that wholeheartedly! Experiencing 2 full years of work has really helped me see a little bit of everything: how things should go and, of course, what could go wrong! I’m feeling more confident in myself and my abilities with each passing day. My manager is wonderful and encouraging and I never feel as though he’s disappointed in me or thinks that I could  be doing a better job. His response, if I come to him with a question or a problem, is always “What can we do to fix this?” There is no judgment. That attitude, coupled with my awesome coworkers, makes for a wonderful workplace.

Last week, me and a few coworkers went out to lunch with our manager to celebrate my friend’s 15 year anniversary at the company. It was such a nice time and my friend said that her coworkers and the friends she’s made at this company over the years contributed in a large way to her desire to remain here. That’s so nice to know and she is not the first person I’ve heard that from here. I feel so positive about my future at this company and I’m so glad I was able to find this positive work environment. I can see myself working here for years to come!


I’m going to start with a full confession. I was struck with writer’s block when it came to this week’s article. I had no idea what I was going to write and the list of topics I had outlined seemed unappealing to me—so I deleted them. (I have yet to brainstorm anything new.) It was then I realized I’d fallen into a slight slump. I also realized that such feelings are okay. Not every day is going to be a winner. One can’t be happy and feel productive all of the time. Life simply doesn’t work like that and occasionally you have to pull yourself through the day. Ironically, these feelings gave me a topic to write about.

So what do you do when you realize you’ve reached a slump and you’re close to feeling burnout? Everyone is different, but there are some key techniques that can help address the problem:

  • Take a break or a vacation. Even if you’re at a job you absolutely love and it doesn’t feel like work, a break is still needed to refresh the mind and body.
  • Take care of yourself. When things become stressful, good habits such as plenty of sleep, a good diet, and exercise become more important than ever. These are needed fuel to keep your body strong and healthy in addition to easing stress.
  • Learn to say “no” when possible. You cannot be everything to everyone. Sometimes it is important to say no and not to take on more responsibilities until you’ve recovered from a slump.

Personally, I can say that while work is going decently, I realize I do need a proper vacation. I just finished navigating one of the busiest times of the year. While work in the new year has been a lot slower, I haven’t had a proper vacation. Normally, I take vacations three to four times a year. However, since becoming full-time my vacations have been reset and I won’t be able to properly take one again until June. The last time I actually took a vacation was in August. For the time being, I’ve set up a series of upcoming back-to-back personal days that should function as a vacation as well as a few strategically placed days off.

Life at home has been quite stressful at times. The latest was dealing with clogged pipes and having to get them unclogged, which included purchasing a new toilet. Additionally, my car needs a new bumper cover and a motor for the windshield wipers. All of the above are not fun or cheap. While there’s nothing I can do about these problems except to deal with them as they occur, learn, and move forward. Dealing with that stress also means practicing the techniques I outlined.


What techniques do you use to mitigate burnout when you feel it approaching?

Fire by Robbie Shade of Flickr

Fire by Robbie Shade of Flickr

%d bloggers like this: