Working out priorities is an important part of organising your day.
Working out priorities is an important part of organising your day. STUDIOGRANDOUEST

Take time for priorities

SO, LIFE is getting back to normal after Christmas, New Year's, Australia Day and the kids going back to school. I'm sure some will be excited and others will be struggling to adapt to the routines and regimen that our education system brings and I don't just mean your children.

We were having a chat with a lovely friend the other evening, a teacher, over a glass of wine and the conversation obviously came around to being back in the classroom and how challenging it is to be able to pick everything up and begin the teaching year as though you have everything under control and know all that there is to know about the environment, the kids, their needs and managing them into the curriculum.

Our friend explained how the week had gone and how exhausting it was to bring that focus to bear so intently and so quickly. It was the effort of having to redirect the brain to get back into the discipline of teaching and manage the one hundred small things that get forgotten.

Her comments had me thinking about how it must be for all of those with families of school-age children and the energy required to ensure that everything is planned out as required by the schools, needed by the kids and that will shape the routines of the family for the whole year. It's a big change - a relief to some and a challenge to many.

It's little wonder then that those 100 small things that we all have to deal with when change occurs can create genuine stress or even overwhelm when we start to list all of the things that need to be accomplished to transition to whatever the change is bringing. The most obvious example for me, was when I went into a stationery shop just prior to school starting and it was chaos. Hundreds of people - families - with lists of stationery battling to get all of the things needed to start the school year.

I retired gracefully and left them to it and waited for a more appropriate time to get the things that I needed from there and focused on the next thing that was important that morning.

On reflection, that's how I deal with the 100 small things that come up for me in our business or in life. It's not about getting it all done at once. It is about working out what can be achieved in the situation I am in now and what will be the next priority. It is being mindful that we are masters of our own time. We all get the same number of hours in a day and it's how we organise and use them that creates chaos or calm.

In any case we can only do one thing at a time. What's next for you?

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned:

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