Tips for new tenure-track professors in R1 economics departments

Never stray from what is essential: publishing research in the best possible journals

Find good coauthors

Know what your strengths and weaknesses are

  1. ability to think of a good problem
  2. ability to work on it
  3. ability to recognize a worthwhile result
  4. ability to make a decision as to when to stop and write up the results
  5. ability to write adequately
  6. ability to profit constructively from criticism
  7. determination to submit the paper to a journal
  8. persistence in making changes (if necessary as a result of journal action)
  1. ability to procure good data
  2. ability to code

Enlist the help of senior mentors

Get serious about managing your time

Make the most out of conferences by networking and meeting new people

Make processes for each of your routine tasks and then optimize them

  • Creating lecture notes and problem sets for a course you’re teaching for the first time
  • Writing and grading exams or term papers
  • Creating and updating course syllabi
  • Preparing slides for a research presentation
  • Onboarding an RA to a research project
  • Reviewing a manuscript for a journal
  • Keeping track of your research/teaching/service accomplishments (for performance evaluations)
  • Filing required paperwork (IRB forms, data agreements, expense reimbursements, performance evaluations, etc.)

Minimize the amount of time you spend in your email inbox

  • Use a virtual task board to divorce task tracking from your email inbox. Many such services (e.g. Trello) allow you to easily create a task card from an email by forwarding it to their server. This is a handy way of cleaning out your inbox.
  • Use Calendly or YouCanBookMe to automate appointment scheduling, rather than sending 5 emails back and forth. The appointment automatically shows up on my calendar.
  • Try not to correspond with others via long emails. If you find yourself writing a long email, consider holding a meeting instead.
  • If you must write long emails, write them in a text editor or elsewhere, not in your email inbox. This will reduce distraction from other emails arriving while you’re writing the email at hand.
  • Add filters to route unimportant messages from your inbox.
  • You should always be near “inbox zero” because you should be capturing obligations outside of your email inbox.
  • Remove email apps from your phone

Specific tools I use

  • GitHub
  • Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • Trello
  • GitHub issues
  • RescueTime
  • Remove social media and email apps from mobile devices
  • YouCanBookMe
  • Time Block Planner
  • RescueTime
  • HoursTracker mobile app
  • Regularly listening to the Deep Questions podcast





Econ professor at OU.

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Tyler Ransom

Tyler Ransom

Econ professor at OU.

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