Tip: Establish a Quitting Time.
When do you leave the office? When the work is done, right?
There have been many a day when I found myself calling home to tell my wife I’d be late for dinner. Why? A student needed counseling? Nope. A school activity ran late and I was staying to the end? No. Because there was an emergency and I was responding to the need. Not.
The truth is, I was a borderline workaholic. And if it wasn’t working late in the office, it was working late at home. Sometimes the extra hours came as the Spirit flooded my heart and head with inspiration. These times might lead you to putting in a few extra minutes. And if it only happens once in a while, it might be okay. However, the majority of my late nights were due to poor time management and procrastination and not knowing the importance of knowing when to end the day.
Consider these thoughts with me.
1. Set a firm quitting time.
– Set a time to serve as your quitting time. This should be a time that you, your spouse, and your pastor agree to. It should also be the same time for every day. Keep in mind school related functions and time scheduled to visit with a students. If you usually head to the school in the afternoon, include that as part of your “office/work” time.
2. Procrastinate Tomorrow.
– I am the master of procrastination. I love waiting till the last minute to work on a big project. Just kidding, I hate the stress and pressure that comes with delaying the inevitable. Procrastination haunts me. If I’m not careful, I can easily put off a weeks worth of work. Over the years, I have learned the importance of getting your work done and not putting it off. Each weeks comes with it’s own deadlines. When your teaching every weekend, you have to be ready. Procrastination is something you have to deal with right away.
3. Manage Your Time before it Manages You.
– I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth repeating. You have got to manage your time before it manages you. Each week I do my best to block out my office time. By doing this, I can prioritize what needs to get done. But I also leave time for the unexpected; a visitor to the office, some needs computer help, or unscheduled one-on-one time. Every week you can be sure, something unexpected will happen, so be sure to leave some flex time in your schedule.
4. Go Home and Stay Home!
– With the quitting time determined, the procrastination problem resolved, and an effort to manage your time, the only thing left to do is Go Home! Yes, Go Home! When the end of day comes, go home. And when you are at home, BE at home. That means, leave the computer in your computer bag, or even better, back at the office. If you are home, be home. Engage your wife and family.
Please sure your thoughts and comments. I’d love to know what you think!