“If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. And if you run full speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race.” ― Oprah Winfrey
Gallup in their book Strengthfinders found that the most successful CEO’s were those who found work-life balance by focusing on work while at work. Being all in while they were present and on site at work. Often over 60 hours a week. But, when they got home, they were all in and present at home. Clearing the mind, shutting off the phone, reveling in relationships and personal life joys!
Bruce Daisley in his new book out February 25, Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat says that working less will make you happier AND more productive. One thing he espouses is making sure to take days off to rejuvenate and renew. “We tell ourselves that working more leads to more productivity, but the evidence seems to say the opposite. Americans typcally take two weeks’ vacation and a big holiday. Look at productivity around the world. The French and the Swedes take more vacation days, and their productivity is almost the same. Elite performance is a combination of work plus rest. We get the balance wrong.”
A person I worked with said, “Derek, you work hard, but you play hard, too!” I always valued my time away from school as an opportunity to respirit, refresh, and renew. The first thing I would do in August in my calendar was to put in all the vacations(body and brain rest) I planned on taking. At the time, my contract allowed for 221 days of work and 30 non-work days. It allowed for time off at holidays both Christmas and Spring Break and the month of July. I made sure that when I left work, I left work! Didn’t take a day here and there and go back to work a bit. I often hear of principals today who tell me that they can’t even take July off anymore. I know what will happen to these individuals, their performance both at school and at home will suffer. This kind of “always on” mentality is not sustainable. Even your phone and your computer freeze up and stop working because they need to shut off and rest for a bit. They must reboot!.
What can a busy principal do to ensure that the work day is a pleasant one? Take a break, walk outside, eat lunch! Daisley says, “Taking a lunch break is incredibly effective. It improves our sleep and our happiness levels. In fact, taking a break seems to improve people’s productivity in the afternoon. People who take lunch breaks with co-workers have observed that some of their best ideas have come from those casusal chats. We’ve made the mistake of thinking that lunch breaks are unproductive, and we’ve eliminated that human connection.”
What can a busy principal do to ensure that he/she is present at home? Jon Acuff, author of the book Finish, Give Yourself the Gift of Done in a most recent Instagram post said, “If you want to make the most of your Finish Calendar in 2020, I suggest you use it not just for work but also for play.⠀ Most of us don’t really think to schedule family time or personal time on our calendars. We’ll schedule big things like vacations, of course, but smaller things? Oftentimes they are last-minute considerations or spontaneous decisions.⠀What if we not only said that time with family and friends was important to us, but what if we actually planned our time like it was as well?”⠀
Well, what might you commit to trying? What plans do you have to reboot yourself? Where are you going on Spring Break with your family that will refresh and renew you and those you love and bank some precious family memories? What summer break vacation do you already have scheduled that includes leaving school work behind? How can you work on being present at home and shutting off work life? How about working on scheduling family time in your calendar to ensure YOUR child doesn’t say, “Daddy/Mommy you’re here, but you’re not here!”