This past summer, I read Think Like a Freak by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. In this book, the authors explore why the concept of quitting is often equated with failure. They go on to explain that strategic quitting can actually create opportunities and sometimes lead to future success. For me, 2015 came with a lot of new responsibilities: taking care of a toddler, selling our home (and making sure it was clean every weekend for showings), packing to move, and keeping our current home running while my husband spent most evenings working on various projects at our new home.
Towards the end of 2015, I realized that I was allowing my time to be jeopardized with stuff that doesn’t really matter. I was wasting my energy on routines that weren’t working for me- wake up, work, come home, dinner, bath and bed time, catch up on some social media and emails, clean up dinner, and go to bed. It left me feeling a little dull. Here are a few things that I am quitting in order to free up space for more meaningful things in my life.
I am quitting mindless internet use. Quitting this habit should free up a lot of my time. Over the past few months, I have been tasked with picking out every single thing that will go into our new construction home. You can spend hours on Pinterest searching for that perfect paint color or rug. I am not quitting internet use all together, just trying to be more mindful of the amount of time that I spend on the internet. So far in 2016, I have been successful with this.
I am quitting my routine. I always wait to straighten up my house until the end of the night, right before I go to bed. In doing this, I put off this chore everyday and instead engaged in “mindless internet use” (see prior paragraph) to procrastinate. Instead, I am going to clean up as soon as possible in order to free up time for myself.
I am quitting wasting time in the car . My drive to work isn’t very long but instead of wasting the time I spend in the car, I am going to listen to more books. I have already finished a few books so far this year and am looking forward to listening to many more.
What does all of this have to do with education you ask? Teachers everywhere never have enough time. It seems as though everywhere we turn, there is always something being added to our plates. Engaging projects can’t be done in class because there “isn’t enough time” or we can’t go to that awesome webinar because there “isn’t enough time.” I think educators everywhere would benefit from taking a step back and asking themselves, “What can I quit in order to make room for other things, more meaningful things?” Maybe reviewing homework assignments every day isn’t working or grading is taking up too much of your time. Quitting something may give you the opportunity to try out that innovative project with our students or may free up time to research that strategy you want to try. I think it is worth a try. In my next few blog posts, I am planning to share the more meaningful things that I am engaging in this year now that I have more time. Stay tuned!
Is anyone else quitting something in this new year? What new ideas or interests are you pursuing with your time? Please share!