How Prof. David Domke Works – UW Graduate School Skip to content

How Prof. David Domke Works

David Domke

David Domke, Professor

Department/program: Communications
Research focus: Political communication: messages by candidates, campaign, parties and news media; public attitudes and opinions

David Domke is a popular face on campus. Last year, he delivered a sold-out lecture series focused on the 2016 election and civil rights. He was named the UW graduating class of 2008’s favorite professor, and, in 2015, was selected as the keynote speaker for freshman convocation. In 2002, Domke was a recipient of a UW Distinguished Teaching Award. A former journalist, Domke worked for the Orange County Register and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before earning a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1996.


Give us a one-word description of how you work:


How do you manage your to-dos?

Lists and calendars. I have a daily calendar, of course, but I also have wall calendars that show the whole year in one glance.

What are your essential apps, software or tools?

Google Docs, hard-copy calendar, wall calendar, cell phone for texting.

Where do you most often work?

Everywhere and anywhere.

How do you manage your time?

I compartmentalize and prioritize. I try to focus my mind on one thing at a time, then finish it and move on. Each day I have a plan for my time; these daily plans fit into a weekly, monthly, and yearly plan. The plans get fuzzier the farther out the dates, but I almost always have a working sense of what’s to be prioritized. This working sense allows me to focus my mind on tasks or work in sequence, which is where the compartmentalization occurs.

What is your best time-saving shortcut?

Being ahead of the curve on things rather than playing catch-up or working at the last-minute. Being ahead of the curve on items reduces stress for me and allows me to operate efficiently without wasted energy due to stress.

What are some of your productivity strategies you’ve honed over your years in academia?

Developing healthy boundaries that guide me in knowing when I’m responsible and when I’m not.


What mundane thing are you really exceptional at?

Being hopeful and seeing positives.

What’s the last thing that made you laugh?

My Twitter feed. I intentionally populate it with funny people so that I have go-to humor at pretty much all times.

How do you recharge?

Reading, eating comfort food (cookies) and thinking big ideas.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Pretty regular. I go to sleep at 11 p.m. and wake up between 6 and 6:30 am.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Pursue the good, not the perfect.

Who’s your support system?

My spouse and a small group of close friends and colleagues.

What pitfall do you consistently see students falling into?

Negative self-talk and beliefs. You have to believe in yourself if you want to achieve big things; otherwise you’ll convince yourself you can’t do something.

What do your most successful students do?

Try. Just try. Don’t worry about potential success. Trying is the success.

How UW Works was inspired by LifeHacker’s How I Work.

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