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I have asked a question about sabbatical before and remember that you also have a sabbatical coming up. So in the spirit of solidarity, I will share my summer habit here, although I do not believe it exemplary in any way.

I try to work at least as much as I work during the semester minus teaching, and also try to focus on work that requires more study and innovation. However, in reality, it is easy to slip into personal distractions and end up not working much for some days, especially when the tasks at hand are challenging. I also have sleep problems that affect day-time efficiency. So my strategy is to force myself into working and not consider the summer as a vacation time. But I stop working and chill out if it starts to feel miserable.

Hours per day: 4-6 hours, long hours possible for easy periods of writing;
Days per week: 4-6 days;
Reading vs Writing (incl solving problems): 70/30 to 30/70;
Rest: 2-4 days after a completion of something, or depending on the nature of a non-work-related plan, e.g., an expedition.
Career stage: junior faculty.

Grad student

Grad student here, at a top-15 program. We get funding for summers and are asked to report to the department what we accomplished over the summer, which is incentive enough to be productive in the absence of other deadlines, etc. to meet.
Personally, I took 2 full weeks off right after the semester ended, and that’ll basically have been it for my summer vacation.
I spend most days either reading or writing, depending on where my projects are. My spouse works full-time and I wake up when they leave for work and consider myself “at work” mostly while they are - but I definitely work under 40 hours a week because I take a longer break around lunchtime (around an hour and a half) and wrap up 30 min to an hour before they get home, for errands/housework/etc. So on an average day it shakes out to something like 3-3.5 hours in the morning and 3-4 hours in the afternoon. (Typically once a week I’ll have something else going on, like a meeting or something, that entails a half-day, so this schedule is more like an ideal.) This is Monday-Friday; I don’t touch anything on the weekends. And I’ll probably take a day or two off between major projects (I typically focus on one thing at a time, so when I get this conference paper submitted I’ll take a day or so before shifting to one of the other projects I have planned.)

Another grad student

Another grad student here. Echoing "Grad student" above, I too try to structure my working day around the working day of my spouse. This amounts to something like a 9-5 Monday-Friday. With regards working over the summer, I allocate myself the same number of vacation days that my spouse is entitled to. So we'll take a week off here and there, but unless I'm giving myself a "vacation day", I'll work throughout the summer as if it were term-time. I find myself (at this early stage in my grad studies) able to get through everything I need to get to while retaining a healthy work-life balance.


Postdoc here. I work during the summer similarly to the semester, minus the teaching. I often go to the office or to some coffee shop, but also work from home. It averages around 7-8 hours a day, sometimes less if I have some errands to run. I like dividing my time between various projects; e.g., get some book writing done in the morning for a couple of hours, then work on a conference paper, then read, or whatever.
I do take off days when the opportunity arises, but usually not more than 2-3 days at most at a time. Longer than that and I feel I have so much to catch up with that it's just more work than if I hadn't left...

Jacob J Andrews

K12 teacher, one year out from PhD.

Time: About 25 hrs/wk. But I'm also the IT admin for my school, which is moving facilities this summer, and a houseparent at a transitional housing program. So more like 30-35 hours of work total.

Ratio: Half course prep, half reading/writing. The latter is basically based on need. Right now I'm finishing a book project (translation), which takes up all my research time. (I love translation work for that reason- I get to read and write philosophy at the same time!) I also try to give myself 20-30min/day for free, non-project phil reading.

Time off: All weekends, plus one full week each month.

Good TT position

These numbers surprised me. In case they also surprised anyone else: I probably work about 2-3 hours a day, 3-4 days a week during summer. I don't work as much as the people who've posted above even in term-time.

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