I leave school most days by 5:00 and am home by 5:30. I am home to make dinner, do some laundry, I never miss my kids’ activities (unless they are scheduled at the same time) and I am even able to get them on the bus some mornings while still arriving on time to school. This summer I have even dubbed myself their Uber driver. I preach family first at school, I fuss at staff who consistently work late and as a campus, we don’t schedule very many evening events.
In my #principalsinaction Voxer/Twitter PLN, there were some posts this week about having a work/life balance and some of those amazing people challenged us to find it. When I was commenting on it to my husband (mainly about how I think I already have a healthy balance), he gave me the “are you serious” look. What? I do, look at all those things I mentioned above! He posed a question that had me reflecting on whether I really do have a balance “what time do you actually stop thinking about/responding/completing emails for work?” Hmmmm, probably only when I’m sleeping. Here is my reality check:
I also pride myself on how quickly I respond to email, clean out my inbox and check things off my to-do list. I might get home at 5:30 but I am constantly reading and/or responding to email. It is the first thing I check when I wake up and the last thing I look at when I go to sleep. It absolutely consumes my time. I might be at one of my kids’ activities but when they aren’t playing or if it is during a break, I am on my phone. While I am cooking dinner, my trusty phone friend is right by my side or in my back pocket. What if a parent has a concern and I don’t see it right away? What if there is an important announcement and I miss out? What if one of my staff members has a question and I don’t answer it in time? The excuse list goes on and on.
I have been living the Work/Life Balance Facade like a pro. I don’t have balance at all.
One of the challenges in my PLN was to remove your work email from your phone. Could I do that? Nope, I can’t. Can. Not. Do. It. I’ll just stop looking at it. That didn’t last longer than 3 hours.
So, I deleted my work email account. I am not kidding when I say my heart was racing, my hands were shaking and I had second thoughts. However, it is done. I have committed to checking work email 3 times a day, all while I’m at actual work.
The pictures below show my home screen and then my second screen when you swipe left. Notice there is no email icon visible and no red bubbles anywhere. Notifications have also been turned off for my apps!
Pray for me! 🙂
P.S. The “Games” folder belongs to Charlie Jacobs, the only phone-less person in our house.