Friday, February 5, 2010

It's Better Than It Could Have Been

I've been thinking that yesterday's post didn't quite fit with my Simplifying and Destressing theme, but then I realized that without my simplifying and destressing efforts, my stress level right now would be even higher than it is. My decluttering and simplifying efforts at home are really going well. I have such positive feelings about my progress in that area. Because of some of the new habits I'm cultivating, my house is staying cleaner and clutter free, so although I may be stressing about work-related things, my home is not adding to the problem and it's a haven at the end of the day instead of one more thing to stress about.

And even though I'm not progressing as swiftly on the Simplifying and Destressing at the office as I am at home, a few things I'm doing there are at least keeping me sane in the middle of all the grading and prep. I've already told you about never leaving the office without a clear desk, and I would never have believed just how effective a strategy this is. I feel a sense of order when I walk out the door in the evening, and when I walk in the next morning things seem to be a little more under my control.

Another thing I've been doing is keeping a "Most Important Things" list. Before I leave for the day, on the top sheet of my notepad I list the things that absolutely, positively must be done tomorrow. These usually have to do with the following day's classes, but not always. On another sheet, I keep a running list of things that need to be done, but not immediately. When I get to work, I immediately start in on my must-do list, doing nothing else (but teaching classes) until those are accomplished. Then, I know I'm at least ready for the next day. If there's extra time, I move on to an item on the not-so-urgent list. These lists don't lessen my load or get my work done for me, but they do remove the fear of realizing at the last minute that I'm unprepared or have forgotten something important.

Additionally, I keep reminding myself that the extra work I'm putting into Comp I now will pay off in less stress in the future. A stitch in time . . .

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