Last week was half term for my children. I really did need it, although I was working for 3 days of the week, the pace was different and we were all able to hibernate a bit. The first half of the term involved so many changes and transitions that I think that has left us all a bit exhausted. My three things this week are all related to that sense of a pause from the “norm”.
- Time to breathe
I scheduled much fewer meetings this week and didn’t commute in to the office either, which I was incredibly grateful I was able to do. This enabled me to have a bit more time to just breathe and be – even with my inbox! I had lots of grand plans to do all the things and sort out my seemingly endless outlook task list, and although I did some of those things, I did take more time to work on what my priorities were and what things I really wanted to do. Even taking one breathe when in a difficult or challenging situation can be very helpful in terms of changing the focus and tempo and I was reminded of that this week.
2. Less is more
On that note, although as I did think that I could do *all* the things, in reality time is limited, even time without meetings and so I did need to reign in my optimism in terms of how much I could achieve. This is not necessarily a strength of mine and one that I think I need to do some work on – I’m constantly optimistic about how much I can do, then don’t do it all and that leads me to feel negative about what I have achieved as I forget all those things I have done and focus on the things I haven’t. If I just had two or three things on my list and did them all I would feel more accomplished. So, definitely less is more.
3. Generosity of time
One of the things I like about half term, especially the opening weekend, is that sense of generous time. Sunday afternoon doesn’t feel like the runway to the week ahead in a negative sense, instead it seems like the path to opportunity of all the things we could do and the uncommitted time we have. I’ve been reflecting on this a lot and how to bring that feeling into weeks that are more structured and committed. Since September I have been getting into the office earlier on some days as I’ve been travelling in with two of my kids on their way to their new school. This “extra” 30 minutes or so definitely feels like generous time. Its unstructured and enables me to take a bit of a pause before the onslaught of meetings. It is time now I have taken for my blog. Even a few minutes can feel expansive and generous when they are unplanned and even unexpected. Maintaining a feeling that time is generous rather than time is poor is certainly a feeling I would like to continue beyond half term.