Sabbatical Week 2: Balancing research and relaxation

This week was all about getting work done on my user-generated content book chapter while making time for learning new skills. I have been working from my mother’s house in Florida so it has been nice to take breaks that include walks on the beach, trips to my favorite childhood restaurants, reading new books, and lots of crafting activities. It has also proven to be an excellent time for rethinking my routines and approaches to work, writing, and getting things done.

Here are a few fun items I have stumbled upon along the way:

Pointers for morning routines that help with productivity

Many ways to motivate yourself to write

How to optimize your office for healthy working conditions
(I am a big fan of Blue Zones and Fort Worth is a Blue Zone city!)

Interesting piece about George Soros and his anti-social media speech at Davos

Insights into social media bots and the “Follower Factory”

Tips on how to open up your heart chakra
(Bonus: you get to say an awesome Hawaiian word as part of it)

Learning about how to “Brave the Wilderness” from Brene Brown

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • Did I respect my own boundaries? Was I clear about what’s okay and what’s not okay?
  • Was I reliable? Did I do what I said I was going to do?
  • Did I hold myself accountable?
  • Did I respect the vault and share appropriately?
  • Did I act from my integrity?
  • Did I ask for what I needed? Was I nonjudgmental about needing help?
  • Was I generous toward myself?

These have been particularly helpful for me as I try to moderate my social media use as well as my phone use as I learn more about digital wellness.

And, for those of you that are curious about the crafting part of my week, I learned how to make a pattern, cut fabric, and sew a Japanese knot bag from scratch courtesy of Fran Bright (PS – I might have a new YouTube sewing star on my hands!).

First Japanese knot bag complete! And, it’s reversible too :).

Sabbatical Week 1: Off we go …

Classes began at TCU this past week and I officially started my research sabbatical – what a thrill :). These last few days have been all about organizing my projects for the coming semester, deciding what to tackle first, and finishing up two projects related to social media fatigue.

As part of this process, I did my annual email clean out and unsubscribed from newsletters that I don’t get much out of anymore and found some new things to check out. I also took some time to catch up on my favorite podcasts and have the best tidbits from those shows listed below.

Interesting finds this week:

Time Well Spent Movement
*This is a new movement focused on raising self awareness of smart phone usage.

Taking control of your phone!
*This page offers specific tips for controlling your usage.

The “Note to Self” Podcast – Advice Episode
*Lots of great tips on managing information overload, securing your data online, and beating the FOMO blues.

The “Note to Self” Podcast: Black Mirror Episode
*Fascinating themes about AI, death, social media, and politics in this episode featuring the creators of the show Black Mirror.

Some cool newsletters to subscribe to:

Axios Media Trends
The Ann Friedman Weekly
Barking up the Wrong Tree
We Are Next
Dave Pell

This week I will be continuing my work on an Oxford Press Bibliography on “User-Generated Content in Communication” that will come out later this year. If you have any fun suggestions for that, send them my way :).

See you next week!

Sabbatical begins now …

This semester I will have my first academic sabbatical to work on research projects related to big data, social media fatigue, and citizen engagement in digital spaces. Excited to see what this time brings … for now, I am working on the weirdness of not creating syllabi and prepping for classes for the first time in a decade :).

Luckily, I have this joker to keep me in line and motivated!