Hendree Jones, PhD

Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Senior Research Psychologist, Research Triangle Institute

What is your current research? Please briefly describe your area of research and/or practice:

Hendree Jones, PhDDeveloping and testing behavioral and/or pharmacological treatments to treat women (especially pregnant women) for substance use disorders.

My latest focus is on adapting and testing behavioral treatments combined with HIV prevention to reduce substance use and HIV risk behaviors in women in international settings.

About how many hours per week do you spend in alternative involvement in professional organizations, administrative duties, teaching, clinical requirements or similar?

I typically work between 50-60 hours a week. Of these hours, about 8-10 of them are devoted to professional organizations including Division 28, reviewing manuscripts as either a reviewer or editor, serving as a resource to patients either seeking help or colleagues who need answers to clinical and/or research questions and attending or leading administrative meetings. Serving as a grant reviewer also takes a substantial number of hours of my total week (usually on the weekend).

How do you protect time for writing papers?

I feel very compelled to finish everything I start and I like writing so it is easy for me to devote time to this activity.

Are you involved with any activities or hobbies unrelated to your work and if so, how do you find the time to participate in these activities?

Yes, I have two children who have activities that keep us very busy during the week and the weekend. They have sports and music activities as well as multiple school functions that give back to the community. I am very fortunate to have the ability to have a flexible work day. I typically get up early (5 AM) and go to bed late (11PM or later) to ensure that my children and their activities are a priority. I also regularly practice hot yoga (but not as much as I would like to do so).

How do you choose to prioritize work and non-work activities?

My children will always come before work; however, I am fortunate that I require little sleep and am very efficient and typically focused with my time to fit everything in.

How have you achieved a balance in the time you spend on career and personal life goals?

Having children helped to put and keep my career in perspective. They truly are the greatest joy life has to offer. I have also learned to discriminate among tasks I am invited to do and have gotten much better at saying no or delegating career advancing opportunities to junior colleagues.

What percentage of your time is allocated to work vs. home life?

During the work week, I do my best to devote 1/3 of my time to work, 1/3 of my time to my children/family/friends and 1/3 of my time to sleep or exercise.

How have you achieved a balance between work and personal priorities?

With practice and making mistakes along the way. One of the best ways I have learned to strike a balance is to ask myself the following question: In 10 years I will remember what I am doing (or planning to do at work that day) or will I look back and see the personal priority as more memorable? If the answer is the personal priority then I make time to participate in that activity and fit my work obligations in around it.

Are there any special organizational strategies you use to be efficient at work?

I do my best to never waste a minute of time at work in the office. I rarely go out for lunch, I typically keep meetings that I control to a maximum of 60 minutes, I use walking time to clean my blackberry out and I focus on one task at a time rather than multi-tasking. I turn to e-mail 3 times a day and answer or prioritize answering items that come in. I also try to return all calls in a solid block of time within a 24 hr period.

Have you found it helpful to assign specific workdays to specific work-related tasks, like manuscript-writing, grading papers, etc.?

I have an incredibly busy travel schedule which prevents me from allocating a specific day to manuscript-writing.

How many hours per week do you spend writing papers for publication?

20-30 hours a week, on average.

Have you found it helpful to restrict the number of days per week you work (e.g., do not work on weekends?), or the number of hours you work per day?

Yes, I do everything I can to protect my weekend time for my family/social life (except during grant-writing time).

How do you find time to exercise, or sleep?? How many hours of each do you average?

I exercise for at least 45 min 6 days a week. I exercise either late at night or first thing in the AM. I need at least 6 hours of sleep each night.

What advice do you have for other researchers who are learning to balance both career and personal life goals?

Ask yourself in 10 or 15 or 20 years what are you going to look back at your life and feel most satisfied about? What might you feel most regret about? What memories will you want to cherish? Keeping these questions in my mind help me figure out how to balance my life.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from one of your mentors?

I have had the joy and pleasure of having many mentors and continue to have mentors in my life. I think it is very important to always have mentors for multiple aspects of one’s life.

There are several pieces of wisdom that I keep close to my heart:

  1. Your feet are where your priorities are
  2. Perseverance is one of the most important qualities to have for success in science
  3. People may forget what you say but they will remember how you make them feel