Quoting directly from the blog, “According to Dr. Covey, 90 percent of most people’s time is spent in quadrant 1, while the remaining 10 percent is spent in quadrant IV.While not directly related to education, I think this principle applies. The goal is to make sure you spend most of your time in quadrant II.”
As I worked in FCPS for nearly 10 years as a principal/assistant principal I had the good fortune of being supported by the county to pay attention to quadrant II. Day to day I always felt like I was on the treadmill of quad I, however my superintendents helped us see the vision of quad II. As I moved overseas and led a very successful large school in Shanghai I had time to learn to balance my life more with my family. This was the time that I could really pull back and review other aspects that make me as a leader feel whole. These other aspects of my life were in the regions of:
As I come full circle to living back in the USA and leading another successful, yet challenging school, I find reminders, almost whispers to myself of holding on to these parts of my circle to continue that pathway of staying balanced. This is what I have learned:
- Building Relationships: I ask myself at the end of the day ~ Have I sent a positive email or spoken to anyone on my faculty? A family? A student? My boss? Have I really listened to someone today? my spouse, my son, my daughter, my sister, my friends. This fills my bucket and I hold myself to this way of reaching out every day.
- Take a walk: I need to get out in nature every day. I quickly learned this in Shanghai as I desperately missed being on a lake or in the woods. I walk around my school, open doors at carpool and give dog treats, look up at the trees, and just breath. I push myself to get out of my office.
- Find a passion in exercise: I love to shake up my routine as I get bored easily. To find time with my friends we take a yoga class together so we make a point of connecting, we just finished training for a century ride on our bikes and laughed our way through, I also love to work in the garden with my husband. These all fill my bucket and help me stay centered.
- Check accounts once a week: I hate working on finances, both at school and home, but I hold myself accountable to reviewing these accounts once a week. I am also taking a personal finance course with my daughter this coming year so we can learn together about to be our best selves financially
- Engage in online professional development: I began a twitter account a year ago and it ignites my learning from others. I stay interconnected and follow people who inspire me. I jump on twitter for 20 minutes per day.
These simple ways help with my priorities and connecting with others. Building relationships will always be at the heart of