“I’m so over!” Jennifer said.
“Overwhelmed. Overworked. Overscheduled.”
As school leaders, the demands on our time, as well as our own tendencies toward perfection or procrastination, can create a situation where we are over our heads.
How can we go from overwhelmed to overdrive, to feeling like we are cruising in the driver’s seat?
Make Three To Five Priorities
Make a list of the most important three to five objectives you have for the year and for the upcoming month. Keep that list visible.
Being clear on what is important helps you focus your energies.
Tip: Write your priorities on a 3 x 5 card and keep it with you.
Create Time For Yourself
Take your calendar and schedule time for yourself. An hour for lunch by yourself each week. Time each day to walk or exercise. Time to meet up with friends or family members.
Schedule it. It’s not real until it’s on the calendar.
Tip: I write on the calendar: Appt with M.E.
Feeling overcommitted? With your priorities clear, say yes to only those activities that match your priorities. To everything else say no.
Tip: Practice saying, “Thank you for the opportunity. Because of my other commitments I have to say no.”
Just Do It
Overworked? When work comes your way, deal with it and try to touch it only once or twice.
For each actionable item decide if it will take more than two minutes. If so, delegate the task or defer it by making a date on your calendar to do it, or placing it in a basket of items to do asap.
Tip: For more on this topic I recommend David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done.
Use KISS Theory
Keep It Simple Sister. Less is more. Stop buying “stuff”. The more stuff we have the more time it takes to take care of the stuff.
Tip: Look around your office everyday this week and look for clutter. KISS those items good-bye. A KISS a day will clear the clutter away!
The masculine version is KIS’M. Keep It Simple Mister.
Overtired? Set a schedule for getting your children to bed at the same time each night. Do the same for yourself and no electronics in the bedroom. Really! No phones, tablets, televisions or laptops.
Find ten minutes during the day to close your eyes and breathe deeply.
Avoid using caffeine and sugar to boost your energy.
Tip: Keep low carb snacks, like almonds and water, handy.
Overstressed? Get out and walk. Even fifteen minutes per day will help.
Tip: Need to meet with someone? Do a walk and talk.