As we move into a new educational environment, we have all had to make numerous changes. Times are challenging, curriculums must be adjusted, and our work environments are very isolated and different. Yet, our goal is still the same. We are still here to serve those around us.
Our days are not as regimented as they once were during a typical school day, which makes it easy to fall into distraction even more. In the past couple of weeks, while staying at home, have you found yourself getting lost for hours a day on social media or watching Netflix? Alexander Pope is quoted, saying, “Amusement is happiness for those who cannot think.”
While our new work environments have provided more time at home, I am reminded that how we spend our time is important. You may not know what to fill the extra time with, but you will never fill that time with something productive unless you remove distractions first.
Put away your phone, stay off of social media, turn off the television, and do something productive. Do not let the frustrations of today take away from all that you can accomplish over the next few months. Take a walk with family or pets. Find an excellent book that you have not had the time to read. Connect with family, colleagues, and students digitally. Exercise each day. Start journaling. Take some time just to be still. Whatever it may be, be productive. At the end of each day, find something that you have done to make yourself better.
Our current situation can be viewed as a challenge or an opportunity. It is too easy right now to wallow in self-pity and fear. You can let this time break you apart or make you stronger. It is all in how you respond. Get off your phone, turn off the television, step away from the computer, and go get better! How you handle your time over the next few months is going to determine the person you are after this crisis. I challenge you to be better than you are now when we get back to “normal”. Now more than ever, we need you, and you need yourself at your best.
**On a personal note, I have turned off all notifications on my phone besides calls and text. I have turned on timers for apps like Twitter. I have deleted the few games I had on my phone. I have also pledged to read a book a week (and I have been doing it ) while we have been off. I take a walk with my wife every day. I continue to find time to exercise each day. I have gotten back into my daily journaling routine. I eat dinner with my family every night. I am refusing to let this change be a hindrance to the time that is available to me. It has been refreshing!