Sunday, January 20, 2019

Creature of Cadence

I thrive on schedules, even when they are so tight I feel like I don't have any "me" time. With weather and the newness of classes and students, my normal weekly game plan has been turned upside down.

How do you do when you are trying to find a rhythm, but there is not beat? Do you just go with the flow? Do you get tense and snap at people? I searched for help this weekend as I realized yet another week would be starting with eLearning.

I stumbled upon an article written by Elizabeth Grace Saunders in the Harvard Business Review, though the article was published in 2016, I needed to read it.

I think as we enter another week of "off schedules" take time to create a cadence, no matter what:


Weekly Cadence

Projects, meetings, and commitments can vary week to week, but it’s helpful to have a general sense of the weekly cadence that most supports your work. You can think about this in the same way you would a design template. It’s a format that you can then build and modify as necessary for any given project — in this case, your week.

After a great deal of experimentation, I’ve found my best weekly cadence includes the following:
  • Include ramp-up time on Monday morning, so that the first few hours of the week are blocked out for weekly planning and processing after the weekend.
  • Schedule focused project time on Wednesday afternoons. I work on smaller items throughout the week but when I need to focus on a large project, like a new book proposal, it works best for me to block out a whole afternoon free from meetings. That way I can go to a coffee shop and get quality, uninterrupted work done. This turns moving a major initiative forward into something that feels like a nice mid-week mini-break from the normal day-to-day.
  • Wind down on Friday afternoons. I block out about three hours to wrap up anything that took longer than I anticipated or to work on non urgent administrative tasks that are nice to get done before closing up for the weekend.
  • At least one weekday evening, accomplish personal to-do items and recharge. I’m super social, but even extroverts need a day off.
I can, of course, adapt, adjust, and amend all of this as necessary. But this rhythm is what I prefer, and I find it leads to an extremely satisfying week with closure before the weekend.

As you can tell, we all need to shift into a new vision for the week, come along with me as we start our week with eLearning, followed by our own created rhythm. Embrace the off beats, and control what you can.

Mrs. Burman

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