If you are:
- finding yourself leaving school at 6:00 PM or after more than once a week (not including athletic or other events);
- doing work on your computer for more than 30 minutes a night at home;
- going to the school or working from home for more than four hours on the weekend;
you are in need of an intervention. Your body will not let you keep this up.
Try 7-1-1 (before you need 9-1-1)! It’s not too much… it’s doable. It begins with seven hours a sleep a night. THAT is the essential ingredient for you to get work done effectively. You need sleep for your brain to remain effective, and you need that to do ANY of this leadership work. Chronic and acute stress comes quickly when you starve your brain from it’s needed replenishment, so… be stingy with your sleep!
It continues with making a commitment to leave school when the others do one day a week. (Please insist your AP does the same, but on a different day.)
Finally, the hard part. One of the two weekend days, DO OTHER THINGS. Don’t think about school. Don’t answer emails. Don’t work!
Experts in neuroscience and stress management teach us that we CAN do those things… but we need something else to replace those thoughts. So… want to be a good leader? Get a hobby. Research shows that having other meaningful things that you engage in help you with your job.
These things matter because we all have diminishing supplies of: (1) money and resources; (2) time; and a real concern for the school leader (3) energy. Strategizing for your health and mental wellness ISN’T selfish… it’s taking care of the single most important asset you have: you!