For the #29daysofwriting challenge, we have been asked to post a #howto blog. So, as I’m such an advocate of creating a balance between work and home, I aim to create a ‘How to’ list for those looking to regain their ‘life’! Many of my previous blog posts refer to many things that I will probably list below.
Health and wellbeing is priority, especially when you work in the world of education where pupils, parents and colleagues can permeate everything. It can often be very hard to switch off, waking up in the middle of the night with new ideas or expectations for the next day. It is important, no matter how much you love your job, to step away, clear your head and gain a new perspective on things. Time away, reflection and a ‘life’ outside of work, will make you a better teacher, leader…will make you much more effective at whatever role you do.
Here is a list that I aim to live by to keep my balance right…
- Family is always priority. If leaders say that their job comes first, then they have their priorities in the wrong order…full stop. Leaders need to stop making their staff feel guilty when ‘life’ makes an appearance.
- Challenge the status quo. Don’t accept things, just because that is ‘how they have always been done’.
- Leave work at least two times a week by 4:15 at the latest, with nothing in your hands.
- Take time to reflect – ‘carve’ out time in your day to do this. Reflection and ‘time out’ to see things clearly will allow you to prioritise things in your mind, giving you time to realise that you really can accomplish everything on your ‘to-do list’ or that problems that have arisen (as they do!) aren’t as big as you first suspected.
- Eat well and stay hydrated! (I definitely need to take note of this – though the picture above is what my whole family eat every weekend – usually there would be heaps of broccoli involved-athletic, growing kids need their greens in abundance, but so do we adults.)
- Enjoy the small moments and give yourself time to really ‘take them in’ – mindfulness – is this what we call it now?
- Don’t worry about things…As the poster in my office drawn by Mary Engelbreit quotes, “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.” Or as the Bible states in Matthew, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
- Devote your time when you get home to your family and do your work when the children have gone to bed if you need to. (Make sure your other half doesn’t feel left out of this either! It can be hard to juggle them all.) If you live alone then you can spend more time on other things.
- Always think of ways to ‘work smarter, not harder’.
- Take more baths (instead of showers!)…great way to ‘soak’ away the stresses of the day and ‘reflect’. Two in one!
- Make time for you – doing whatever makes you feel great. I would say running here (but I’ve not been doing much of that lately!)…I need to get on this one! Again, a great time to clear your head.
- YOU have to lead and model a positive work-life balance, no one else can do it for you! Especially if you are a leader – it’s imperative you model this, teachers need someone else to lead the way in this with the pressures that schools can bring. You must EXPECT it of your staff.
I’m sure if I kept thinking I could add more to this list – but I’m giving myself a twenty minute time limit for the #29daysofwriting blogs. It’s a good start and I need to ensure I keep to it.
What about you?