I am a changed man in 2013. Small changes having a significant impact in my life. Small changes that are enabling me to make one large, significant change.
I am not sure where I first came across this post (apologies to the blogger I read who linked to it). It was towarsd the end of last year. I had just spent six months back in a role I was originally in 2 years previously and was "in over my head" playing catchup. I ended the year not completely happy with who I was or how I was dealing with work and life. Enter this post.
Now this is not something I had never heard before, the message is always there. But soemthing about the way this post is written sparked me into action, and conveniently I had just started holidays so had some dedicated time to address the things I did not like about me. How I went into action encompasses more than the eight suggestions in this post, as Matt Steel (the writer of the post) is focussed on working life here. There were also issues in my personal life I wanted to address. I did make a list, but never shared it as I was over the whole end of year reflection with here is how I will change next year. So the list was for me and I set about implementing change. But it was this post that inspired the action, so thank you Matt Steel for that.
Now, into 2013, I cope with life better. I have more quality time with my wife and children. I feel younger, more refreshed and positive. And I have managed to keep some of Matt's suggestions going in my work life.
- Slow down - I think the combination of 2 and 8 below have resulted in this.
- Stop trying to be a hero - for me this was trying to help everyone, by deprioritising myself. Now its me and my family first, everything else a distant second.
- Go home - Matt lives an office life, and his suggestion is to go home by 6. I've adapted this to my life, only staying after classes on two days of the week. The other three days I leave at the end of classes to address family responsibilities.
- Minimise meetings - as a middle manager, meetings are a constant interruption in my work. I have up to 6 scheduled meetings each week. It is interesting that in my school I am allocated 420 minutes in the timetable as a middle manager. As a direct result of being a middle manager I then have 130 minutes a week of scheduled meetings. However I can impact on this for my staff, so my goal is to minimise meetings that are simply reports.
- Go dark - social networks are blocked by my employer, however I can turn off email. Not having email open constantly is new to me, but I can feel the productivity increase.
- Leave the office for lunch - for me this means not sitting at my desk and working through lunch. I take this opportunity to talk with my colleagues, socially.
- Give up on multi-tasking - done.
- Say no - something I have become much more efficient at. Unfortunately it is the "out of school" requests that feel the brunt of it. Heading out to try to inspire other teachers is time consuming. I didn't realise how much until I made the decision to stop doing it.
Again, thanks Matt for the kick in the pants. I needed it, and now with my other life changes I am reaping the benefits.