I have to admit I was shocked to total up my working hours last week and see that I only worked 42.5 hours. I’ve been thinking alot about why it seems like I worked much more than that. Here are some conclusions I’ve come to:
(1) I have read somewhere (I can’t remember where!) that the average employee works (actually works!) only 26 hours per week.
(2) The lack of control over my time makes many of those 42.5 hours seem alot worse than they are.
(3) Other responsibilities outside of my main job leave little room for rest.
(4) The knowledge that even 40 hours is not enough to get everything done is a stressor. Hence, I put in another 7 hours today (Sunday) sending faculty in the department information about their upcoming salary review, scheduling meetings with journal interns, and drafting a memo to the dean requesting permission to hire this year and next.
The life of a tenured professor is a great one, and I don’t at all want to come off as complaining. But it is not as though tenure has made us all into a bunch of slackers. To the contrary, most (but certainly not all) of us tenured professors continue to work as hard as ever — because we like what we do.