Starting The Year Stress Free | Mindsteps Inc.

Starting The Year Stress Free

StressFreeOne of the things we love the most about educators is commitment. We all want to do right by students and will put in countless hours in a Herculean effort to do so.

As a result, many of us are perpetually overwhelmed. We have gotten used to making bricks without straw. As a result, we not only lose sight of our passion for teaching, but are left in a perpetual state of stress.

But this year, we want something better for you. We want you to let go of the stress and recapture your love for what you do. So, we’re sharing with you the best tips we know for managing your stress and preventing being overwhelmed.

At Mindsteps, we’ve found that there are three main causes for overwork – time wasters, time consumers, and empowerment failures. Below, find out what these three stressors are and how you can manage them this year.

Time Wasters: These are things that you may be currently doing that if you were to stop tomorrow, no one would notice. It may be a redundant task. Or, it can be something that used to be required but isn’t required anymore. Whatever it is, it is a waste of your time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere. So what’s the solution? Eliminate these tasks. Stop doing them right now so that you can focus on what really matters.

Time Consumers: These are tasks that while necessary, take up a lot of your time and may not have a direct impact on instruction. Time consumers include answering email, returning phone calls, making copies, completing paperwork, etc. The best way to manage time consumers is to automate them so that they take less time. Find ways to streamline your email for instance, or to complete paperwork (See this TIP Sheet for some ideas) so that you can free up more time to focus on what really matters.

Empowerment Failures: These are things that you are currently doing that could be done just as well by someone else. Sometimes your students could handle it. Sometimes, it’s a colleague who isn’t pulling his or her own weight. Or, it may be something that could easily be handled by volunteers if only you had them. Empowerment failures are best handled by effective delegation. That means that you don’t just hand off a problem to someone else and walk away; instead you provide training to the person first so that you can empower that person to take on the task and do a good job.

No matter whether you are a teacher, administrator, counselor, coach, or work in some other capacity, taking time to deal with time wasters, time consumers, and empowerment failures can mean less frustration for you and more time to work on what really matters. As you start the year, think about how you will address the time wasters, time consumers, and empowerment failures in your own life so that you can have more time to focus on those things that feed your passion and matter most to you and those you serve.

What are some of your top time wasters, time consumers and empowerment failures?