Monday, September 5, 2016

Focus: September Monthly Goals

I've always considered myself a pretty amazing multitasker - I've even prided myself on how many projects I can have going on at "once." When brain research came out a few years ago claiming that people officially can't multitask, I completely didn't agree with it. Of course people can multitask- moms and teachers do it 100 times a day. 

Coming out of a summer season where I purposefully tried to keep parts of our summer simple, I was a little bummed to have it end with a big rush of busyness into the new school year. The residual effects of relaxing summer moments amped up into the constant routine of trying to balance too many things and feeling stressed. It's made me realize something: I need to get a little more proactive about "focusing." 
The other day a coworker shared that this year he really wants to focus on doing a few key things extremely well at school and in the classroom while recognizing that other things may need to be done just "well." Often as elementary teachers we're pulled in many directions; both because we teach a variety of subjects and because the expectations continue to rise for what American teachers in this century are supposed to be covering in their classes. (No, I'm not just talking about academic content.)

When I started to think about his statement, I thought about all the things I add on to my plate besides teaching: motherhood, managing a household, blogging, volunteering on the board of my son's preschool  . . . and these are just the biggies. Often in the evening when I sit down for my quiet time, I can't even pick where domain I want to focus on as each area has something I should be tackling. It made me start to think about how "well" I am actually focusing on any one particular thing.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I need to start narrowing in my focus on a regular basis more purposefully. Like many of us, the longer my list gets, the more I waste time on things like Facebook and other forms of social media, off beat articles that are relevant, and local "list-servs." Or, I try to do a little bit in each area every night, and never wind up finishing one specific thing.

So this month, my goal is to figure out how to FOCUS more on the tasks at hand. I'm not quite sure what that will look like yet, but I have a few ideas. At this point, I can't quite see a way to take anything off my plate but I can think of some ideas of how to PRIORITIZE what is on my plate. I'm also thinking more about how to limit UNNECESSARY DISTRACTIONS in the evening, or during my planning periods at work. And I know, that ultimately it may come to LETTING GO of some things that seem necessary, which are really not.

I'm curious to see how a month of emphasizing on focus can turn out. My hope is that more things start to be done "well" and not just that a little bit more of everything is finished.

Don't forget to check out the other Monthly Goals from the bloggers below. Alternate code:


  1. I'm excited to hear from you about how this goes. I am very intrigued by taking this as a goal for the month.

  2. Figuring out how to cut back is always challenging for me too. I hope you have some good success.