The last several weeks have been extremely challenging, yet very rewarding for me professionally. I have started a new job at my district, and of course with any new endeavor, some days the learning curve is quite steep. The biggest adjustment for me is being able to take in stride the days that are mostly reactive, instead of proactive. Many tasks that I have to accomplish seem to require many pieces of background knowledge that I need to become familiar with prior to completing the task. Many of these tasks also fit under the quadrant of ‘Important and Urgent’, so reacting to the needs right now is how the day goes.
I’ve tried to ‘Put First Things First’ and be ‘Be Proactive’ as Steven Covey would encourage in his 7 Habits for Highly Effective People. I’ve been cognizant of what quadrant I am in, and have even added them as filters for my ToDoMatrix. I realize that it isn’t healthy to be in Quadrant 1 (crisis, pressing problems, deadline driven projects), and it is much better to be in Quadrant 2 (prevention, relationship building, planning). Some days I leave work clearly in Quadrant 1, but there have been days that I have had time to think ahead and get out into the buildings to see and talk to people. Those are the days that hopefully will come more often as I learn my new tasks.
So, where am I going with this, and what does the title refer to? I had time this morning to go through some of my Google reader feeds and came across Kim Cofino’s post ‘Finding Inspiration’, and I was inspired to write this post. Please, take some time to read this great post about Jane Goodall’s presentation and the thoughts it inspired. I think that what it did for me was this- it gave me perspective. No matter how crazy my day gets, it has to come back to the students and as educators (and yes I am still an educator even though most of my time is working with fellow educators and not necessarily directly with the students) we need to always remember the inspiring lessons from Jane Goodall:
- The power of encouragement (having a mentor that encourages us and being that mentor for our students and fellow colleagues)
- Follow your passion (and help your students do the same)
- Be a risk-taker (and facilitate that risk-free environment in your classroom so that your students can be risk-takers as well)
So, my ‘aha’ this morning was this: As we strive to manage our time and be productive we can not lose track of what inspires us as educators. Where do we get our inspiration from? Because, as I’ve realized today, if we aren’t inspired we can’t possibly put our priorities in place (putting” first things first”). If we aren’t inspired we will be destined to spend our time in Quadrant 1, always putting out fires. So, take time to think about this question: What inspires you? Then plan on spending part of your day inspiring others as well as feeding that inspiration inside yourself.
Other Resources you might find interesting:
Nerdy Productivity (take on Covey’s quadrants using comics)