Have you heard, “You’re never here” or “I don’t feel like I’m much of a priority lately?” Have you forgotten what you used to enjoy doing for fun? Balancing school leadership with a personal life and relationships can be challenging, but there are people who make it work. Take Fall Break to examine your priorities and implement routines that reflect these priorities when you return to work.
Set your priorities. Be honest: What really matters most to you? Does your calendar reflect your priorities? If you genuinely want to spend time with loved ones, calendar your non-negotiable time together. If you truly want to prioritize your health, calendar workouts or meal prep. Be honest with yourself. If you think your family needs to come second until you have some things taken care of at work, be clear about your expectations, timelines, and check on what they would like to see from you during this time.
Set routines that support your priorities. Here are some ideas:
Determine days of the week when you will leave by 4:30, set “30-minute warning” and “time to go” alarms. Have others help “kick you out.”
Avoid your computer or smartphones one day of the weekend.
Schedule one night a week as a late night where you work on bigger projects. If you have family, combine it with something they enjoy like pizza night or visiting grandpa’s house.
If you can’t eat dinner together, plan to eat breakfast together some morning.
Schedule 2 blocks of time each day for “small tasks.” Time a 30-minute block near the beginning and end of your work day for things like signatures, emails and returning messages. Timing this block adds some urgency to tasks that can “eat up your time” and allows you to unplug when you are home.
3. Delegate and Train. Are you really the only person that can do this work? Who else would benefit from working on some of what you are doing? If you were admitted to the hospital tomorrow, who would need to do this work? Support others in learning how you think, prioritize, and do some of your work and then delegate more.
We will be taking a TXTS4Leaders break next week to help you step away from work and reflect on your priorities.
Saunders, Elizabeth Grace. 25 September 2016. “What To Do When your Crazy-Long Hours Are Ruining Your Relationship.” Work Smart. Fast Company.
Saunders, Elizabeth Grace. 26 February, 2018. “Stop Staying Late at Work by Doing These Three Things.” Secrets of the Most Productive People. Fast Company.