Journal: Quick Update

Today was a great but busy day!  I just have a quick, disjointed update before doing some serious relaxing.

  1. The class set a new record in my experience as a teacher: 25 students!
  2. The “vote with your feet” activity would have gone much better if I had moved it out into the hallway where we had more room.  Don’t forget your physical surroundings, Emily!
  3. It’s really interesting to balance the fact that some students attend mostly for reading while others attend mostly for conversation and still others are there for a bit of everything.

That’s all for tonight!

Vacation and Pace

Gooseberry River

I took a short vacation up North with my sister, and slowing down definitely helped me notice how fast  I’m used to going.  As we hiked around lush forest and wide open water, I realized that I’m on the right track with what I’m doing with my life.  I already knew that, but it means more to think that when I’m not in the thick of it.  We decided we definitely have to make hiking more of a priority during future vacations.

I also feel like I have a lot more to give when I go back to work tomorrow.  Being relaxed and happy helps me be a better coworker and program staffer no question.  Ah, the elusive work-life balance, I think for at least today, I found you.

The question is, once you take your break, reset your pace, and find your balance, what do you do to keep it?  Marci Alboher from the NY Times has some suggestions – what are yours?

Acceptance vs. Control

I attended a Work/Life Balance training today.  Lots of interesting food for thought.  One of the points the presenter made was about finding a balance between accepting and controlling your workload.  

Facets discussed:

  • We all work with people, which means our day-to-day workload is going to shift:
    • email volume is largely out of our control;
    • meetings, phone calls, and personnel mini-crises happen;
  • It’s not realistic to check off everything from our daily, or even weekly check-lists;
  • Two unhealthy tendencies:
    1. perfectionism;
    2. multi-tasking.
  • Suggested Solutions:
    • Prioritize;
    • Organize;
    • Breathe, take a break;
    • Analyze how you’re spending your time so you can determine how to be more efficient.
My questions:
  • At what point do employees need to take some control?
  • At what point do employers need to address workload situations?
  • What happens when items both “important” and “urgent” get passed to next week’s to-do? 
    • What happens when this becomes a pattern rather than an anomaly?
  • Yes, perfectionism is unrealistic.  Where is a reasonable line of standards of excellence?
  • How can a person or organization reign in demands without damaging relationships?