September has been a particularly hectic month for many people, myself included. Like many people, I have been balancing remote teaching (and all the prep work and grading that comes with it) professional writing, and many, many Zoom meetings.
Last week, I was reviewing my September calendar and I realized that the majority of my work time has been in shorter increments of time. For example, I will work for 30-45 minutes and then will need to join a Zoom call, after the call, I’ll go back to working for 45 minutes, only to be interrupted by an urgent call or email. While interruptions are inevitable, it is harder to get back into the work after a break, particularly a break that involves a Zoom meeting! So, while I have been able to get my work done, it has been fragmented which has not allowed for the deeper thinking that I would like to do. I didn’t think much of this until this past Saturday afternoon when I carved out a longer stretch of time to work. Before I began my work session, I had made a detailed list of what needed to be accomplished, turned on a coffeehouse music playlist, and got to work! About two hours into my work session, I noticed a difference in my thinking about my teaching and writing. I was more focused, which allowed for more careful and critical thinking about the content of my writing as well as the activities that I was using to teach.
Due to the way life is right now, sometimes the work has to be done in smaller increments of time, but looking at the schedule and budgeting one or two longer work sessions, will allow you to appreciate the amazing feeling that comes from doing a good day’s worth of work!
How are you managing and scheduling your work time at the start of this new (and crazy!) school year?