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Building Your Schedules and Using Deadlines as a Guide 

How often do you find yourself reviewing your schedules, with a list of tasks, responsibilities, and pet projects stacked with the luxury or hindrance of time? You work towards meeting a deadline, and the days and weeks for completion seem further out. Then one day the deadline “sneaks” up on you and your deadline is here now. This can bring out our A-game, showcasing our instincts to push forward, and apply our strengths to complete our responsibilities.  
Returning from the holiday season, the first week of January is a time to refresh, recharge, and reconnect. However, we are now at a place of seeing how deadlines placed upon us are not just us getting our work done, but the chain of impact it has on our colleagues, teams, departments, students, clients, etc. This is not meant to scare us into suddenly jumping back into our tasks to meet deadlines, but rather finding ways to incorporate applying practices of using deadlines to guide our work.
This week’s edition of Wisdom Café Wednesday asks you to look at both your bCal and personal calendars. Look at where you have anchored times which are work-related obligations, special projects, spaces with some gaps in time, and vacations. With all of these obligations and expectations of yourselves and others have of you, what are your initial reactions when a deadline “sneaks” up on you? Do you respond with a sense of joy that the time has come for you to fulfill a responsibility, or do you find yourself freezing and wondering "how do I scramble to do what I need to?"

In our first round of return to campus, we find it easy to default to our e-mails and bCals as a checklist that helps us set the stage for getting through work. In addition, we use email and bCal in response to emerging needs. Some of our responsibilities are things we must complete without collaboration or working with others. In addition, university employees have fiduciary responsibilities to adhere to across the board, many of which have deadlines that impact their baseline status as employees.


Common deadlines that we adhere to include the following:

1. Completing your timesheets by the final day of your pay cycle for your supervisor's approval.

2. Foundational Skills Required Trainings - Occur annually and revolves around due dates based on an employee's hire date. Please log-in to UC Learning to see your current status and the expiration of your most recent completion of these courses to be up-to-date.
  • UC Preventing Harassment & Discrimination Training
  • Cyber Security Awareness Training
  • Ethical Values and Conduct OR Ethical Conduct Briefing for Researchers trainings
  • Clery Act and CANRA Training for select employees

3Achieve Together: The performance development program for non-represented employees and managers is due by Tuesday, January 17th, encompassing the review period from August 1, 2022 - November 30, 2022.
  • Thus far 21% of UC Berkeley have completed their conversations and submissions. These conversations steward employee success and set the tone for how employees will grow and supervisors can support and mentor their growth.
  • Use the coming days to have meaningful conversations with your supervisors and supervisees before submitting your Achieve Together forms.  

4. Access your W2 to prepare for the filing of your state and federal income taxes in UCPath electronically by January 13, 2023.

As you outline your calendars for the coming days, take some time to include these in your schedule to assure that they do not slip past you.

Setting your deadlines and adhering to them might seem like something we do naturally. But what if we got a chance to understand deadlines in our minds to process them as a reward system? These approaches are a starting point for getting our responsibilities done and setting the tone for how we will approach the projects at hand.

The following brief sections from 3 different LinkedIn Learning e-courses add some fun to what deadlines can feel like with some creativity.
  1. Imagine if we trained ourselves to see a deadline to achieve something that was in scarcity or limited supply (i.e. seating and capacity for an event, prizes and giveaways while supplies last, etc.).  Urgency and scarcity when it comes to setting deadlines give us a chance to see the stakes of what happens if we do not act promptly.  It also adds value to the commodity or goals we are trying to achieve.
  2. Using deadlines as a basis for showcasing your organization’s culture. We might ask ourselves, “how do we show up to demonstrate the culture of our departments?” Beyond basic job responsibilities and acting under the mission and values, Meeting Deadlines walks us through how to value the time of others and their expectations of us.
  3. Calculating Deadlines is also an approach to using Microsoft Excel in a new way. We have used Excel to read raw data, accounting ledgers, and email listservs; but have you used it to calculate your time and deadlines? This e-course offers a weekly challenge to using Excel’s features, one of which includes using formulas to map out time.
Wisdom Café Wednesday challenges you to look at a deadline you have in February, and map out how you will achieve completion. Use this for a more in-depth project requiring some advanced planning. This can help employees better understand the time it takes to adhere to their responsibilities, and can serve as a blueprint for succession and transitioning should the project be delegated to another employee. 

Wisdom Café Wednesday Featured Professional Development Opportunities That Include Deadlines

Conference Early Bird Registration Deadlines

As we commit to new professional development goals, the spring season gives an influx of national and regional professional development conferences. The hosting associations offer registration in tiers; including early bird, general registration, and on-site. With the passing of deadlines for each cycle, the cost tends to go up incrementally. Use this week to find the conference or professional development opportunity for you and initiate steps toward registering before the early or standard registration window passes.

Employee Surveys 

While many surveys come to our inboxes, they serve the purpose of helping the organizers understand their past impact and provide pathways to do better. If surveys have an incentive or raffle prize, those windows are likely limited to a particular time frame. Wisdom Café Wednesday is asking for one last submission from its readers for any ideas for future topics they would like to see in upcoming newsletters. This survey will close by Friday, January 13th. Please submit your ideas and have your contributions recognized on the Grow Your Community website.

NOW Conference Call for Proposals

The Next Opportunity at Work (NOW) Conference Planning Committee is inviting UC Berkeley and other UC employees to submit proposals for 75-minute concurrent sessions at the in-person conference taking place Thursday, June 8th at the Oakland Marriott City Center. This year’s conference theme is Reconnect, Recharge, Reimagine! and we invite you to submit a proposal by completing this Call for Proposals submission form. The deadline to submit a proposal is 5 pm PT, Wednesday, February 8th.  Click here for more details.

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How to Share Your Insight on Wisdom Cafe 

Discover the benefits of sharing your professional insights on Wisdom Café Wednesdays and how to do it here.
-Reading about and reaching out to featured colleagues.
-Finding supportive communities.
-Using resources to start your own network.
-Signing up for this Wisdom Café Wednesday Newsletter to ensure you get a message that you can use to support your development every week!
Don't have time for everything? Add time on your calendar to use these resources by using this link.

The Wisdom Café Team
PS - Want to see specific content or staff member featured? E-mail us at
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