Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More Time #SAVMP

I have a problem.  I am inattentive, unfocused and easily (VERY) distractable.  It is one of the more major roadblocks in life, not just job, that I tackle everyday.  I've learned over time that this is a good thing, job wise, because I can and do exercise some control over myself!  HA!  Now, being and elementary school administrator, this problem is sometimes compounded by being at a school of near 800 students, 60+ staff members that need time and attention various ways throughout the day.  It has the possibility to become something quite like a perfect storm of inefficiency  without some specific supports and strategies in place (this is now sounding like an RtI meeting, is it might say I'm a tier 3 for time management!)

Often an easy go-to answer (wishful thought more like) is to say I need "more time".  But the truth of the matter is that even if we had more time, we would always have the same issue, With more time
we would not simply want to get the same amount done, we would end up trying to cram more into the additional time and would be left wanting more again.  As with many other things it is what we do with what we have and how we find balance with our various roles in life.

How I manage
Schedule EVERYTHING- I share this with expectation that it is not set in stone. (things that pop up)
Treat things on the calendar as holy - there was a time when I didn't schedule classroom time and I would go when I didn't have meetings scheduled.  You can imagine how that went.  Then I began to schedule it, but then allowed it to scheduled over when meetings came up or I felt something needed to be done.  Again, you can imagine how that went.  That time is just as important as the IEP meeting or any other.  I and my diagnostician now know that those times are just as set as others and deserve the same priority.  Big learning for me in getting everything in I need to!

What is helpful
Take my e-mail off the phone - face to face time is just that, home time is home time.  I haven't had e-mail on my phone in years.  There is no Pavlov's dog response to the ding, no ruined evening due ot angry whoevers.
A great secretary - this was one of my favorite parts of my middle school years.  I got to hire a wonderful secretary, who was also our registrar, and she ran my life at school!  It was wonderful!  We attended Breakthrough Coach training together and we were an amazing productivity team!  I am thankful for and blessed to know her!
The reminder - I set them for just about everything.  To the chagrin of those I invite to meetings and share tasks with! HA!
Essential oils - I admit it.  My wife has turned me into a hippy...  I will attest to the difference that some diffused peppermint in the office does to keep me focused when it is task time.  Or the difference a little Valor or Cedarwood on the back of the neck makes.  I was skeptical, but it makes a huge difference for me!

Big Rocks - this was the article that Joe posted in the prompt and I loved it, so I've shared that many folks already.  Portions of this were also included in his great book Rethinking Teacher Supervision and Evaluation - great read!
How to be the Most Productive Person in Your Office... - great article that really expanded my use of the calendar.  I have always said that I lived and died by my calendar, but the advice from this article led me to the scheduling of EVERYTHING which I have found helpful.
Your Perfect Productive Day - fun video with some good ideas

Time we have is what we make of it and "more time" is not the answer we need.  Attempting to exercise too much control over it can be dangerous for us!  So many unexpected things pop up during the day due to the nature of what we do.  When push comes to shove it is important that we know when to shut it down and go home.  If we don't find the right balance, our families, our teachers, our students, our community is not getting the best version of ourselves that they deserve!  I'll leave you with some great music!

Happy listening


1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, even for the non-educators! I use these same principles everyday to keep my day on task and to stay focused on the task at hand. Very nice to hear that others struggle with the same things that I do. It's re-affirming to know that these steps work for others too.