If you are a high achiever who has 110 things on her/his to-do list today, this post may not be for you. If you want to be a high achiever but get overwhelmed at times, this might be more suited to you. I was talking to a new friend, Justin, the other day through emails about how we can get over indulgent in work and actually be less effective. That conversation made me think up a challenge post to my readers: I want to tell you to focus on only three things today. You decide what they should be. You’ll be tempted to focus on more, but limit yourself.
As a teacher, I tend to get bogged down in all the demands from the district and parents. Sometimes, it can sap my energies. The professional solution is to focus my energies with an almost tunnel vision on no more than 3 things. I can still do other things, but my success for the day will be determined on whether I got those three things accomplished. For example, tomorrow my 3 are: 1) Multiple meaning words, 2) Finalize my parent conferences calendar, and 3) Teach the final 2 math concepts we’ll be testing next week. There are many other things I could/should be worried about, but these three are the most important. I will name the day a success when these three things are done.
It is the regular attention to goals that makes me feel like a great teacher. I wasn’t born great and I do not remain great just because of what I have done. My puritan upbringing cringes at calling myself “great,” but I am simply referring to the data that says: I set goals and achieve them. To me, for any occupation or endeavor in life, that is success.