I recently had to run some updates on our home security system. One of our locks was behaving badly and needed to be replaced. In the course of my reinstallation, I took batteries out and replaced them in a few of the devices as well as changed the location of the ‘home station’. What was reinforced in this exercise is this: nearly everything will work a little better after being unplugged for a few minutes. This will be true as well for you as a leader as this year begins to unfold and ramp up.
How efficient are you at unplugging? I know I have struggled with this for a fairly large portion of my adult life. Now, I am not just talking about unplugging from electronics, but also unplugging from work in general. I have had my challenges with taking vacations that are fully removed from the work and electronic world. My friend Danny Bauer recently completed an elongated meditation time away from it all. I was a bit envious, a bit curious, and a bit skeptical; but it works for Danny and I applaud him.
Even though I wasn’t the best at it, here are 3 suggestions to consider getting yourself unplugged and recharged.
- Schedule it on your calendar: if you put it on the calendar, the likelihood it happens will increase tremendously.
- Package it with a bucket-list item: my father-in-law and I have made a handful of ‘bucket list’ trips over the past handful of years, including a winter golf getaway to Nevada and catching the Green Bay Packers (his team) at Lambeau Field. I was quite disconnected on both trips and they were very recharging for me.
- Build time by adding it into a long weekend: if your district allows for it, take an extra day over a holiday. Leave early for the flight to Hawaii (or Florida – I’m thinking your November/December time frames here). Escape for a destination that is a short drive for you and leave a little early to make the drive the day ‘before’ the getaway begins.
Bonus: Staycation – you don’t have to go somewhere to unplug. Stay home, work on a hobby, play lots of card games, whatever makes you happy and keeps your mind off of work.
I know what you’re thinking: I can’t take time off, I am way too busy at work. But folks, you have to be willing to disconnect and ensure that you have a full cup throughout the year. Yes, it’s August now and you are probably energized. The thought of vacation right now seems silly. But NOW is the time to plan for it so you make sure it happens. The school year is a long haul, pack accordingly.
Tune in this week to “Leaning into Leadership” where my guest is school board expert AJ Crabill.
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