Last weekend I did the unthinkable and glanced up from my phone in the coffee shop making eye contact with the man ahead of me in the queue. It was an intensely weird experience. In front of me was a man I had known at school and been friends with as we both grew into adults and started families. What’s weird about that you ask? “Weird” was that he hadn’t aged a second in 25 years. He was literally the man I had known in my early twenties and it took my brain sometime to work out what was going on.
Was he a time-traveller?
Was he in possession of amazing age defying genes?
Then I remembered…my friend had had a son. Standing in front of me was a young man who was the spitting image of his Dad!
By the time I’d processed all this information I must have been staring at him for about 15 seconds. He probably thought I was bonkers, but he wouldn’t know me so I just smiled and went back to my phone.
But it did get me to thinking about how quickly time moves.
I’m convinced that time flies more quickly working in a school. You start the year in September, all keen and ready to go, filled with excitement for the new school year and the new fresh faced pupils who are finding their way. The nights draw in and it’s Christmas before you know it. The new calendar year starts with the promise of spring around the corner, then you start to think about the budget for next year, it’s Easter, Whitsun, and finally the summer is suddenly upon us. We’re all a bit jaded and ready for the break.
It shocks me that I’ve done 15 cycles of this now and I often wonder – Is there a way to slow it down?
Because before I know it I will have completed 25 years and be thinking of retirement! It’s a scary thought. Maybe there is a way to slow time, or at least my perception of it, and a bit of reading around has presented me with the following suggestions;
- Value your own time. It’s easy to scoot through life from one responsibility to the next without taking a moment for yourself. So take that #SBMlunch, sit in the staff room with a cup of tea, spend a moment chatting with colleagues. Do things for pleasure, read a book, cook, garden, have a long dinner with friends or family.
- Embrace experience. Take time to see, feel, hear, take notice of everything going on around you. Find different things to do, both in work and leisure, make memories, try new things and challenge yourself.
- Work smarter. Avoid multi-tasking and give your focus to one thing at a time. Close your inbox so that you are not constantly being interrupted with another topic. The feeling of task achievement helps you appreciate time well spent.
- Move about. A day spent on the sofa with a box set is not as fulfilling or memorable as an up-early day spent out and about.
- Disconnect. I admit to being terrible at putting the tech down but it has got to be done if you want to appreciate what is going on around you.
- Plan trips well in advance. Planning an outing or holiday in advance means that you spend time looking forward to it, making the trip feel like it has been going on for a longer period of time and enriching the experience when it actually arrives.
- Find nature. Be outside. Whether your thing is woods, hills, fields, the coast, the local park or even the school field, take some time to get into nature, notice the seasons and breathe fresh air.
As SBLs we tend to rush through our day trying to squeeze as much in as we can, we work effectively, but such a lot of it becomes second nature and our days become less memorable as a result.
I’m not going to suggest we slow down because I know it is just not realistic or practical. What’s clear is that we need to take time to appreciate moments in the day, take time to commit something to memory and be in the room with your community, friends and family.
Tell me, how do you slow time down?
(source: Mark’s Daily Apple)