Happy womanDo you ever lose focus at school?  Do you sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between what’s most important?  Have you ever wondered if you’ve lost some perspective?  Here are five tips for planfully putting the pockets of energy and time into your life that will allow you to make the most difference for your students - joyfully.

  1. Decide on all dinners at the beginning of the week. It’s a relief not to have to worry and wonder about what you’re having or fixing for dinner during your school day. On Saturday or Sunday, decide exactly what each dinner meal for the upcoming week will be. Put it on your refrigerator or in your planner. Shop or delegate accordingly. As a teacher, you have enough to focus on throughout the day that you don’t need to worry about ‘what’s for dinner?’ This may seem like an idea that is not that big of a deal, but it is.
  2. Distinguish between urgent and important. Stephen Covey has brought this concept to widespread attention. There are parts of your life and your work that are both urgent and important, parts that are one or the other, and parts that are neither. Focus on what’s important, including that which is urgent and important. Chuck the rest. If you aren’t familiar with the 4 quadrants, just do a search on ‘urgent and important matrix’ and you’ll be rewarded with many examples and explanations.
  3. Spend time with people who aren’t teachers. Regardless of the field you are in, without the perspective you gain from those outside your field, you really have no perspective (and that means no ‘pockets’). Other people certainly gain from hanging out with teachers and you will gain from hanging out with people in other professions. See how this works?
  4. Say “no” to non-essential tasks. While you might enjoy serving on the “Sunshine Committee,” it might do more for your sunny disposition to get your job done. Teachers are asked to do EVERYTHING and let’s face it…some of what you are asked to do is valuable, some is somewhat valuable, and some is not only non-essential, it’s completely unnecessary. Think through your commitments carefully. Maintain your energy for the most essential task which is the instruction of your students.
  5. Work when you’re at work. Don’t be lazy, disorganized, or unfocused and then claim that you don’t have enough time (or pockets) to complete your job. Read Larry Winget’s book, It’s Called Work for a Reason! Your Success is Your Own Damn Fault. This is an in-your-face book and it’s worth reading and sharing with others. If you’re really feeling brave, buy a few copies and suggest it for a book club book.

Life is too short not to have all the parts working together to create a fabulous life. For teachers, a significant portion of their lives is the work they do in education. Please make sure you’re loving it - and if you aren’t, then see if you can figure out what happened that caused you to lose that passion for what you do. Then make some changes, as needed.

meggin_booklet_putting_pockets_in_your_personal_life_perspectiveAs an educator, you need to maintain your energy so that you can serve the students who have been entrusted to you. I encourage you to access the tips booklet: Putting Pockets* in Your Personal Life: 52 Tips to Implement Immediately. Pockets can mean the difference between calm and crazed.