Two Speeds: Nothing and Ultra High SpeedPosted: August 8, 2012 Filed under: Education | Tags: education, higher education, thinking, time banking, work/life balance, workload 1 Comment
Short post today. I’m reminded that, even with the best view of what you have to do, any time that you have in your calendar to do things can easily disappear when the unexpected strikes. I had this week planned as a reasonably paced week, with some paper writing. Now I’m looking at a week where I have one unscheduled 30 minute period until Friday evening.
Was this poor planning? No, I had my calendar planned with preparation time and all days were sitting under at my 70% scheduled limit, well under, in fact, because I wanted to allow as much drop-in time as possible for my students. However, now the time has filled up and, yet, all of my deadlines for this week still apply – plus some more on top.
It’s a reminder that stuff happens sometimes and, as we (eventually) start writing the time banking papers, it’s important to remember how easy it is to go from “everything’s cool” to “oh no, my brain is on fire!”. Now I have a lot of experience in handling brain fire but, even so, it’s that nasty little shock that means that there will be no early nights for me until Sunday. This is a surge week, a stretch week, so the usual 45 hour upper limit (the guideline to see if I can get everything done) is on hiatus but will be reset for Monday.
Now this is important because I have, so far, been able to get everything done within the time that I’ve been allocating, I’ve been more relaxed and I’ve been more effective. Today wasn’t the best day in some ways because the wheels had started to fall off and most of my day was spent planning in one part of my head while working with the other.
I see students hit this point a lot and an important part of my job is talking them down from the ledge, in effect. It’s very hard for people who are working o hard, and not getting everything done, to think that working fewer hours will allow them to achieve their goals. So far, I’ve been able to do it, as long as I am open to the occasional burst of week but, at the moment, I’m sitting the limit at 1 week.
We’ll see if that works!