For those of you that are great at time management and staying focused, there’s no need for you to read this post…
For those of you who know me, you know that I am the queen of the procrastinators club (although we haven’t met yet, because I keep putting off scheduling our first meeting) and that I have ADHD…I do my best work at the final hour, I can be completely random, scattered, lose things, etc. I have also decided that I think the principalship induces ADHD, because we are interrupted about every 4 minutes, so how could one ever become completely focused on any one task for too long?
After a wonderfully relaxing Christmas vacation I was ready to get back into a work schedule today with a quiet school building to catch up on work in the office before school officially starts. Perfect day to catch up on EVERYTHING, right? WRONG! Nope, no one interrupted me…except for myself. I feel like I could rewrite the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to be If You Give a Principal an Email. Left to a quiet office with a list of 7 major things to accomplish, I added at least a dozen other tasks to my list today and only because I already led myself astray to complete them and then added them to my list to cross them off.
For those of you laughing with me now (or at me), I do have a point to this post. I’ve made great efforts over the years to learn everything I can about productivity as I’ve written about in previous posts, but today one lesson came to mind that I learned from Justin Baeder in a webinar at The Principal Center:
Parkinson’s Law: Work expands to fill the available time.
Horstman’s Corollary: Work contracts to fit into the time you give it.
I’ve always said that if time stopped, I would still never catch up on everything that I have to do. It’s just not possible. We have to make choices about what’s most important, what has to be done now, what can wait and what can be shifted elsewhere. On days like today, I do best when I remind myself of Horstman’s Corollary. I do this by setting a timer for myself for the one task I’m working on and try to beat the timer. I’m currently loving the google chrome extension “1 click timer,” because it just runs up in the corner of my browser or I can expand it to see it. It is a reminder to myself to stay focused and finish what I’m doing before I distract myself with something else.
Full disclaimer: I should have been working on something else when I wrote this blog post, but it came into my head and I had to get it out!