At the beginning of last week I found myself struggling with what I had to do – in terms of feeling overwhelmed with what to do when, what to start, what to leave and how to make sure I didn’t waste the time I had in an unproductive fashion. Stopping teaching and waiting to start part time work is great – however I definitely feel the need to use that time productively and make the most of it whilst I have it. Aside from using the time to train for the London marathon (which with my hamstring niggle has been challenging) one of the main ideas behind leaving full time teaching was to help me move forwards in qualifying as a PT and seeing what else I could study to make my journey into breath work & coaching more effective. Being able to train as a UK athletics coach through Serpentine was just one added benefit that I wouldn’t have felt able to do as confidently whilst still teaching full time.
The consequence of this is weekend courses, homework, study and ongoing learning. All of which take time, all of which I enjoy, but all of which begun to feel too much without sitting down and working out what I could do when. For me the most effective tool was to draw a grid, add in dates and then begin to fill it in. I find the physical act of writing something down and then visually a map or route appearing into the future a really powerful tool in helping me not only organise my thoughts, but also feel at ease with what I have to do. As I begun to go through this it helped me see gaps, move things around, cross things out, use colour to differentiate and gave order to the chaos and definitely reduced the sense of free falling that had begun to happen during the UK Athletics course I was at a couple of Sunday’s ago.
It does fascinate me how the act of physically drawing out a plan and watching it evolve leads to greater ownership and confidence. I definitely remember hearing the idea that focusing on the outcome is the wrong thing to do, focus on the small steps, the journey. Always true and the process of planning in this way is really effective for me. I suppose it helps me to visualise what the journey will be at each step fo the way. It breaks everything down into smaller manageable chunks. A bit like the meso / micro / session planning that I was being asked to follow for my athletics coaching.
It’s something that has always stood me well in teaching, whenever I got to any pressure point (end of term / SATS / plays) I’d go straight to a grid of however many weeks I needed and map out my path.
Looking at above again the thing that really strikes me now is just how much blank space there is from the end of October onwards. Seeing this was and is calming. The 4 main things I need to do being mapped in sensibly and falling into place:
- London marathon
- PT training
- UK Athletics coaching
- Breathwork learning, when and what.
With these 4 learning principles in place I can now understand what to do when. Alongside which it helped me ascertain how much time i wanted to give to study each week – that was achievable, without being onerous, yet was productive. It also has really helped me look at the time I have to work in schools, when I can focus on the house renovations. Listing the books to read and blocking the time in for this feels good. I can also see the areas I am less excited about, as they are either challenging or less mentally stimulating (nonetheless important) and I know that these are the things to focus on first.