Episode #212

Embracing (and Creating) Seasonality

In today’s episode, I discuss embracing seasonality in academia. As academics, we are so lucky that our careers have a natural seasonality, and it’s time to leverage it! Whether it’s the slow beginnings of a new term or the whirlwind of activity leading up to finals – instead of seeing these ebbs and flows as obstacles, I share why we should embrace them as opportunities for growth and success.


Let’s explore practical strategies for managing the inevitable fluctuations in workload that come with each academic season. Semesters have a predictable flow, and it is so important to embrace that seasonality rather than resisting it. By acknowledging and working with the yearly, weekly, and daily seasons of academia, you can enhance your productivity, set boundaries around your time, and build a career you love! 

Yearly Seasonality

The academic year follows a natural seasonality. Regardless of how your school year is broken up (semesters, trimesters, etc.), there is a noticeable ebb and flow. For example, the start of the term might be slower, then it builds and builds to become busier until a break after finals. This wave of activity is predictable but often overlooked by professors.


So instead of fighting against the ebb and flow of busyness, embrace seasonality. Plan for it while crafting your long-term project plan so that instead of being surprised by the stressful months, you expect them and already have a strategy to manage your time.

Weekly Seasonality

The next level of seasonality is understanding and crafting a weekly workflow. Establishing weekly rhythms to create spaciousness and give your brain the capacity to explore big ideas is essential. Here are some suggestions to help generate seasonality within each week:

  • Schedule downtime in your calendar
  • Set boundaries around time for tasks like appointments, emails, and writing
  • Align your schedule with your natural energy (i.e., Mondays can be stressful, Fridays are usually slow, etc.)

Daily Seasonality

When do you have the most energy during the day? Track energy patterns like moments of high productivity or blocks of procrastination and craft a daily routine that aligns with those peaks and valleys. By understanding and leveraging your daily rhythm, you will work more efficiently, feel more accomplished, and successfully meet deadlines without feeling overwhelmed or working during time off.  


“High-level long-term planning is really important. It’s not important because you need to make a definitive plan to stick to. It is important because of seasonality. You want to experience and craft your career into seasons because that is going to help avoid burnout, propel your creative work forward, and allow you to work on impactful projects.” 


“Not only can you embrace seasonality during the academic year by predicting when it’s going to get stressful and embrace it instead of fighting it and make constructive decisions to mitigate it, but you can also create seasonality by looking at that high level of your career over years.”


We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and get on the waitlist here.



  1. Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Get on the waitlist here!
  2. Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
  3. Want to train with us for free on your campus? Now you can when you recommend our Scholar’s Voice™ Faculty Retreats to a decision-maker on your campus! Download the brochure with the retreat curriculum and both in-person and online retreat options here.
  4. If you would like to hear more from Cathy for free, please subscribe to the weekly newsletter, In the Pipeline, at scholarsvoice.org. It’s a newsletter that she personally writes that goes out once a week with writing and publication tips, strategies, inspiration, book reviews and more..





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