I didn’t plan to write this post. I didn’t mean to have that kind of Monday.
You know. The kind of Monday that begins with 25 MPH winds, pounding rain, and a cancelled 5 AM run with your BFF. The kind of Monday of feeling tired and dehydrated from a weekend of this, and no Meeting with Myself. The kind of Monday that starts with an unexpectedly sick first-grader and finds you at the doctor at 7 AM for open sick hours (how smart is THAT?! #love). The kind of Monday that just unravels from there.
So here I am, finally at my computer at 2 PM. I’m pretty sure I haven’t brushed my teeth yet, and I know I’ve lost most of my writing hours for the week because I’m on a plane to Houston bright and early tomorrow. I’m thinking of you all and how the lowest Togetherness self-rating in my workshops is regrouping after a setback.
I wrote about this a few years ago, after, let’s call it, my own major STRING of setbacks. But here I’m talking about middle-of-the-day, unexpected, unavoidable things, not the down-for-months-on-end.
My reset plan went as follows:
- Communicate with those who matter most. Last night when I realized I HAD to get in bed at 8 PM (never mind that then I spent two hours reading the Women’s March coverage in the Post and Times; that is another story for another day), I popped The Together Team a quick email noting that I had to sacrifice my usual Sunday night work time. When my daughter ended up home from school today, I also texted my husband to see if he could leave his school early to take over this afternoon.
- Re-prioritize BRUTALLY. My list today looked very, very long. I used triangles to indicate top priority work (related to deadlines and people!), and then I slowly figured out what I could do after my kids went to bed. Sidenote: I wished I had saved a copy for you, but when this day was done, I promptly recycled it!
- Consider your energy levels. While I had some wish today to prowl through my inbox since I didn’t get a chance this weekend, I resisted the urge and used my one hour of work time for the most critical, high cognitive work: key workshop prep and writing. I fought the lure of the lusty checkmark HARD.
- Start resetting the next day—FAST. It can be easy to let the week start to slide away, but I quickly opted to reset tomorrow by scheduling exercise and tight plans for my flight to Houston (right down to the taxi rides to and from the airport, which I don’t usually jam pack, to fit in some phone calls and personal business.)
- Delay, delay, delay. Some things I’d intended to do today, like order birthday gifts for my sister-in-law and mom, got moved to next week. The only reason I could get away with this is that I had given myself some wiggle room; doing this next week is not a huge deal. This is another case of how planning and looking ahead allows for greater flexibility.
So, how can this apply to you? Whether you are a teacher with a crushed prep period or a school district team member with a last-minute deadline, don’t lose the day! Find a method to reset and resume!