Monday, November 23, 2015

The Mindful School Leader #worklifebalance chapter 1

Work. Life. Balance. is a HUGE challenge for me, and one I've been trying to be very intentional about this year as a school leader. I'm trying to leave work at a decent time, and earlier on Fridays. I'm trying to take more time to rest and recharge. I'm trying to take time to just breathe during the day at work and actually eat my lunch without working at the same time. I've been doing pretty well, although I could exercise a lot more.

I'm also reading The Mindful School Leader starting this week with a group of school leaders and we are discussing a chapter a week on Voxer. This week we've read the first chapter and each Monday we'll be talking about the book and just informally sharing thoughts, quotes, and questions each Monday. Here are some of my takeaways this week:

A quote:
"School leadership demands time and energy.The interesting thing is that taking time for mindfulness makes school leaders feel like we have more time, not less." 

A thought:
Everything is not urgent.

Things I'm finding make a difference:
  1. Not checking email until I get to work in the morning. The author shares the story of a school leader who started every day at 5 am opening emails and being filled with a sense of panic. By not checking email until I get to work, I'm finding I actually enjoy my quiet commute to work.
  2. More on my commute: I'm now taking that drive time to notice more and practice gratitude-- to see a beautiful sunrise, to notice the clouds or the fall leaves. It's become a time to reflect and just "be" for about 35 minutes each morning.
  3. Trying to not email staff if at all possible evenings and weekends. I use Boomerang to send it later if I really want to write the email on the weekend. Teachers and staff need to recharge at night and weekends to be able to bring their best for kids.

This TED Talk was also mentioned in chapter one. It's beautiful. Interestingly, we had used this TED Talk in one of our staff meetings earlier this year as we focused on mindfulness and gratitude.

"When people see my images, a lot of times they'll say, "Oh my God." Have you ever wondered what that meant? The "oh" means it caught your attention, makes you present, makes you mindful. The "my" means it connects with something deep inside your soul. It creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard. And "God"? God is that personal journey we all want to be on, to be inspired, to feel like we're connected to a universe that celebrates life." ~Louie Schwartzberg

Finally, this quiz was mentioned in the book  in case you'd like to try it out.

How mindful are you? Take this quiz: 

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