This week’s tip: Breathe

Today’s tip: Breathe.

How do you take care of yourself? Your staff? Your SAM?

Your work as a school leader, principal or SAM, is stressful and can never be completed. Think about it. No matter how much you do today there will still be more. That’s the nature of working in a school. There is always more you can do to help others move forward.

Look at your TimeTrack. Have you scheduled any “BLUE” time? Blue is personal time. It may be counter-intuitive, but taking 15 minutes of personal time can actually increase your effectiveness. When you are tired and out of energy you can react in ways that won’t move your work forward. You have to be on the top of your game, in the moment and present and when you work with teachers, staff, students and parents.

Think about the time during your school day when you are at your worst. Consider scheduling a “BLUE”, or personal break. Here’s a few ideas:

  1. -one SAM principal goes to her office at 1:30 PM each day, shuts the door, turns off the lights and rests for ten minutes. She returns refreshed and ready to do good work.
  2. -a SAM principal leaves his office and walks around the perimeter of his school grounds. He says this 13 minutes of quiet and solitude makes an amazing difference in his outlook and ability to focus on his work improving teaching and learning.
  3. – SAM takes a ten minute break at 2:00 PM each day. She goes to her car, reclines her seat, and listens to music. He returns to the office refreshed and ready to do even more for students, staff and parents.

All school leaders look forward to Christmas/Winter break. They know this is a chance at recharge and refresh. The very best schools leaders build in daily mindfulness breaks so they can stay centered and in the moment. “Blue” time in TimeTrack makes a lot of sense.

You can learn more about mindfulness by viewing HD videos from the 9th Annual National SAM Conference. Here’s a link to Kristen Olson’s keynote: