I have always known that I kind of like scheduling things. I will be department chair relatively soon, and I am looking forward to making making the teaching schedules for people. When I was a kid, I would schedule fake professional basketball and baseball seasons for fun. This is a sort of macro-scheduling, and I enjoy doing it.
What I have recently learned about myself, though, is that I hate micro-scheduling. I don’t like emailing back-and-forth to find a time that works for all people. I have embraced tools like Doodle to some extent, but I usually have to schedule one-on-one appointments, and Doodle seems like too much work for that.
I have a lot of appointments right now with my advisees to choose classes for next semester. I decided to use the Google Appointments replacement youcanbook.me, which I have written about before. This has worked ridiculously well, and it has saved me a lot of stress (Note: Neither Google nor youcanbook.me has contacted me, and I am not getting paid to write about this. I am just a simple user).
For the last several years, I have not scheduled office hours. I stopped doing this because it actually made it harder for me to meet with students. Regardless of when I schedule office hours, most of my students cannot attend. This means that I have to make individual appointments with them and still attend my regular office hours. Because I need to attend my office hours, I cannot schedule meetings during this time. So I have to schedule the meetings during times when I could have been meeting with students, which means I cannot meet with students during those times.
So I have just been scheduling “office hours” individually as students need them (which is getting to be less and less), and I hate schedule this stuff (although I like meeting with students).
So my plan is to schedule “open hours” when I plan my work day. I will use youcanbook.me, which I will post on my website and Moodle page. Students can sign up whenever they want, and I don’t need to do the scheduling, save for the random student who absolutely cannot meet with any of my preferred times. I think that this is going to greatly increase my quality of life.
Two things: Each morning, I am going to remove options to sign up for that day. This is because I don’t always re-check my calendar, and I don’t want any surprises. Also, I am going to start doing this after advising is done, since I don’t have any time between now and then anyway.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Any tips?