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The Faculty Success Initiative presents:
Dealing with Resistance: When Research Time Is Hard to Use
with Jane Elliott
October 20, 2023, 1:00–3:00pm
Live • Online • Registration required
From single hours carved out of the teaching week to hard-won sabbatical leaves, finding time for research can feel like an achievement in itself for most academics. Because we strive and strategize to create this time, it’s particularly frustrating when we still can’t seem to use it the way we want. At the very moment we finally have the brain space to start reading or writing, we often find ourselves doing something else instead.
If you’ve experienced this dynamic, you know it can feel almost like an out-of-body experience. One minute, you’re reviewing the chapter outline you drafted months ago, the next you’re in your email replying to a message about committee work that could definitely wait.
Although this dynamic feels mysterious, what’s actually happening is very concrete and technical. There’s a specific feedback loop that gets created between our sense of how precious and rare this time is, and our resistance to using it fully. It comes down to the expectations, thoughts and feelings we bring to these moments—all of which can be changed.
In this workshop, I’m going to explain exactly how this feedback loop gets activated, what its component parts are, and how to dismantle them so you can use your research time with ease. Although you won’t need to share any of your personal reflections with the group if you don’t want to, you will have time to practice with tools and bank some progress in real time. Along the way, you’ll learn:
- Why this resistance can’t be resolved via time-management techniques (spoiler alert: it’s not because you’re not trying hard enough!)
- How the perception of time-scarcity and urgency actually create resistance
- When enforcing strict research goals backfires and why
- Why understanding resistance as ‘procrastination’ isn’t helpful
- How to reframe your relationship to research time in a way that will actually work.
Jane Elliott is a professor of contemporary literature at King’s College London, a coach and a writer. Her coaching practice grew from her experience mentoring students and junior colleagues. She specializes in helping smart people get out of their own way.