For all of our U.S. friends, Happy Thanksgiving!

Burnout is a dilemma, rather than a problem:

  • If your problem is that you have to grade 25 papers, the solution is to grade them.
  • REALITY CHECK: You realize that when you grade them, they will be done, but what will happen next? There’s always more. That’s a dilemma.
  • We seek to adopt a mindset that solves our dilemma.
  • We see our colleagues always taking on extra work.
  • Dr. Dike Drummond:    “You solve a problem and you manage a dilemma.”
  • In his book, Dr. Drummond differentiates between “problems” and “dilemmas.” A problem has a clear solution and can, indeed, be solved. A dilemma is something more complicated—something without a clear solution or a problem that has been in place for a very long time. Faculty who serve on college or university committees may be tempted to work on what they think are problems, only to find that their work is seemingly being wasted on a dilemma. Politics in a department might seem like a problem, but the interpersonal roots of the problem, compounded over time, can have transformed what was once a problem into a dilemma.
  • You and who every your boss is need have a talk about healthy productivity and personal energy.
  • Daniel, upon his return from a recent sabbatical trip to Ethiopia states: I realized that I need to put a couple of things in my life that prevent me from using all of my life for work.

Do the big 180:

  • Focus on what you want instead of what you don’t.
  • As educators, we are problem solvers. Sometimes the problems can’t be solved.
  • How many emails do you receive that are negative? Do you know what this student did?!#%
  • Find something that you really enjoy at work. What would your job look like if you focused on that one thing?

More to come!

We’re basing our podcasts on an application of Dr. Dike Drummond’s book, Stop Physician Burnout: What to Do When Working Harder Isn’t Working. Dr. Drummond was a successful family physician, working his dream job in a dream location, when he realized he could not continue. His burnout was so severe that he walked away from the practice of medicine, and now dedicates his time to helping doctors avoid burnout and find meaning and satisfaction in their profession.

Unfortunately, most of the ideas and observations Dr. Drummond presents are also present in higher education. Our task will be to apply what fits to the educator’s world, and to offer some discipline-specific observations as well.

We welcome your comments, feedback and guest post submissions.

Email:  General Information   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David


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SC 194 Burnout Solutions #2

The Caring Professor

The Caring Professor