Photo by Eric Rothermel
Two weeks in . . . how did that happen?!
There’s no denying that launching a school year has one very consistent and familiar pattern for me – it starts fast and then gets faster!
And I’ve been lucky. I had a great holiday break. When the checkout operators asked me, “have you had a busy day?”, many times I’d been able to pause and say, “no, very cruisy indeed today”. When those first few emails of the year came in, they often started with a polite, “I hope you had a refreshing break” sort of opening line. Happily, I’ve been able to reply with complete honesty, “yes I have thanks”.
So, I’ve started from a place of goodness, but we all know the saying about good things . . .
At a certain point, I did what you’ve done too; I got back into work, and supported by a ‘full tank’ of energy, started to get ready for launch.
As the final few days counted down, the pace of work picked up. More people thinking meant more thinking for me, and more decisions, tasks, stuff . . . which was fine as I was fresh and ready to go.
And then the year started properly. Kids onsite, classes in action and the hum of humanity that is a school running again. Two weeks in, systems are in place, people are finding their patterns and we are bedding into the shape of an operating school. Business as usual.
. . .
Which brings me to now.
Now, the urgent and unpredictable things are just starting to pop up here and there. Now, the complexity of leading in a clear and effective way is being tested. Now, many things are competing for my time and energy. Which still feels manageable as I’m within touching distance of a more relaxed time.
But I’ve done this before and I just know that soon the familiar feeling of not being on top of everything, of getting important stuff done by stopping doing other important stuff, and of being stretched on the daily is about to start.
Forewarned is forearmed and I’m determined to maintain my balance as the load builds. The trick is in finding that sweet spot and working in a sustainable middle ground where I can be a good/great/superb (depending on the day!) leader and keep myself healthy and whole at the same time.
Part 1 of my strategy this Term is around priorities. I am going to put my overall wellness near the very front of the list for what to achieve each day. And I’m starting with the key things that I sometimes ‘drop out’ when squeezed for time/energy.
Part 2 is adding these things to my calendar/diary exactly as I add all the important work stuff. If it’s in the diary/on the calendar it’s real and has instantly tripled my chances of doing it.
My challenge for you this week is to do the same in your own diaries. Even just adding a single healthy thing is a very doable first step. It’s called having a plan folks, and we all know that good intentions without a plan remain exactly that!
(You can read another earlier post that teases out this idea a little more and here’s one that takes a nostalgic look back into ‘bubble’ living.)