I originally started this blog post in February 2020 when I wanted to restart blogging. It took a global pandemic to get me started again and I still wanted to post this as there are things in it that still hold true – even though 2020 has taught us a lot about planning and expecting the unexpected!
For the second half of 2019, I was doing a lot of thinking about time and planning, inspired by the brilliant Laura Vanderkam book “off the clock”. Vanderkam advocates a tracking approach to time management so that you can see where your time goes and then work out if this is how you want to spend it. I have found this really enlightening and have now been tracking my time for 6 months. It has made me rethink my work days and family time, discover a new attitude to time and the use of it – weirdly tracking time has made me relax more about time, and even manage to do yoga every day since August 2019. If someone had told me this at the beginning of 2019 I would not have believed them! Interestingly this chimes with the yoga I have been practicing which is with Yoga with Adrienne – I have worked my way through her monthly programmes since August 2019, started 2020 with her new one (Home) and then continued ever since. There is something about the intention of doing yoga every day that has given me the confidence and control over my time to feel like I can achieve other things, some of which I have been putting off for a long time – so I start January sorting out my digital photos. At the current rate this could a be whole year project! *Update October it is! Although I have had to rethink my approach and why I am not doing it, which is a good thing!*
Vanderkam also suggests setting quarterly goals. I tried this in the autumn of 2019 and found it a great way of planning my time, so I have set various things I want to focus on for the remainder of the winter, which also connect with longer term themes for the year. One of these for 2020 was encouraging more playful attitudes in my life, both professionally and personally. It is very easy to get drawn into the mundane and day-to-day – again time tracking makes you realise this and by focusing on the micro you end up appreciating the macro uses of your time more acutely. Although 2020 started off really well with as I ran a Lego Serious Play workshop in January 2020 with my SLT and then two more with other parts of the Directorate, the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to those. However, 2020 has taught me not to give up and in my last 100 days I have committed to planning in more play and thinking about remote Lego.
Writing this reminded me of how a few years ago we used Lego timesheets to map time spent with staff outside my team. I feel like I have come full circle thinking now about both time and Lego, although in separate spheres this time. Perhaps these parts of my life are not as distinct as I thought! Updating this in October makes me realise how I have still tried to carry play through this year despite everything and that I will reflect on all the goals at the end of the year.