Yes, it’s September (already), and traditionally that means back-to-school for students, teachers, aides, and administrators around the world.
But let’s emphasize the word “traditionally.” Because, like everything else in 2020 and 2021, the resumption of the school year is once again anything but traditional.
And that is also a reflection of life in the business world. Whereas the start of a new academic year also frequently triggers a new phase of activity in many industries—shifting gears from that happy-go-lucky summertime mindset into a harder drive toward the final quarter and year-end revenue goals—things aren’t so easy for us this year, either.
Businesses everywhere continue to grapple with the realities of life in the post-pandemic era—assuming we’re even IN that era yet, which in itself remains subject to ongoing debate. Some employers have pulled the plugs on their remote workers and summoned everyone back to the main plant, while others have come to realize that a home-based workforce may have considerable upside. And adjustments to workspaces, job duties, employee interaction, and most certainly janitorial schedules continue to evolve.
So, in a nutshell, we’re just as confused and inconsistent as our educators, public schools, and universities.
It’s with that in mind that I’d like to invite you to think back to a concept from our old-school school days that might help you navigate this new and perplexing age.
Teacher Work Days.
We all knew the school holidays that would come throughout the year, and we’d duly circle them on our wall calendars, but remember those odd-ball days off that would also sometimes occur, referred to ambiguously as “Teacher Work Days”? It didn’t matter to us what the teachers did, right? All we knew is we got to sleep in and watch game shows in our pajamas.
Well, teachers—like many of you—would often get so overwhelmed with the day-to-day aspects of handling a classroom full of kids that sometimes they’d just need a day with none of us around, simply to catch up. So the smarter school districts would allow for an occasional day to do just that.
How many times have you said to yourself, “if everything could just STOP for a day, I might be able to get caught up—at least a little!”
Well, because we live in reality, we know that’s simply not going to happen. Not only will everything never STOP, but it will also most likely even accelerate as soon as you turn your back.
BUT….that doesn’t mean the idea isn’t a good one. It is. And with a little careful and strategic planning, you may be able to create your own “Teacher Work Day” without your train completely running off the rails.
What I mean is to take a personal one-day retreat, to work on those things that sit in your inbox for weeks, months, and even years, and tackle them in a focused and stress-free environment. It could be your office, after hours, or your home office, or some other safe and comfy hiding place.
It’s NOT a day off from work—in fact, it’s anything but. But it IS a day off from calls, email, pop-in office visits and all of the other interruptions that keep the revenues flowing, but in most cases—and be honest now!—can wait a day.
And it can give you the time you desperately need to work on things like planning, updating your contact lists, revamping your marketing materials, planning, reorganizing your office, solving a nagging IT issue, planning, emptying your email inbox, polishing up your website, and oh, did I mention planning?
After all, if you get sick and spend the day in bed, nobody questions THAT. Consider this preventative medicine—taking a few Teacher’s Work Days throughout the year may even keep you from GETTING sick.
After all, I don’t have to tell you we are still living and working in very strange times, and you need to be at your best to handle them.
Taking an occasional Teacher’s Work Day may be an excellent way to get there. (And believe me, in most cases, your “students” won’t mind.)
Because you need to be strong to….GROW BIG OR GO HOME!