Recent events have put me into a bit of a reflective mode. In trying to adjust to whatever passes for normal life, I’ve been re-evaluating what is really important to me. On a practical level, this has meant crossing lots of things off my to-do list (including the stuff that’s been there forever, that I not realistically going to get around to and doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things – that actually felt really good!), and thinking about how much I’ve been taking on outside of work commitments. Although I don’t try to do as much as some people I can think of (*cough* @Batty_Towers *cough*), I have been guilty in the past of trying to do a bit more than I really had time for.

I think a scaled-down to-do list was probably overdue, to be perfectly honest. It’s just that before, I was stressed, but still able to keep up with everything. Now, everything feels like it’s taking about 300% more effort than it should, so I’m going to have to stop doing things in order to let myself recover. On the other hand, I’ve found I do feel better when I’ve got things to be doing, so I’m not about to drop everything. I think this is going to be about finding a balance between keeping myself just busy enough, and not taking on things that are just going to stress me out.

So what does this actually mean I’ll be doing? Well, I am going to have to scale back on my extra-curricular professional development stuff. I plan to honour any commitments I’ve already made, but I’m not saying yes to anything else until I’m really ready to throw myself back into work again. What I’m aiming for is to have more free time to myself – whether that be to talk to and spend time with my family, go out for walks with my camera, or just sit and write. I’d really like to be able to focus more on writing, in particular – I’ve always been an aspiring writer, but have never got that far with anything I’ve tried. I’m hoping that by refocusing my free time on things that I enjoy, and do for no reason other than that I enjoy them, it’ll help me keep my sanity when I’m dealing with work-related things.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my CPD altogether! One of the things I would like to spend more time on is this blog, which has really been neglected over the past few months. I’m really excited about 23 Things for Professional Development, which I hope will give me a reason to start blogging regularly again. I will of course be blogging from the SLA conference next month too!

That’s pretty much my plan anyway: do a bit less of the things that stress me out, and a bit more of the things that I enjoy. Sounds like a generally good idea for anyone really, I wonder why I never thought of it before…


7 comments on “Prioritising

  1. “…do a bit less of the things that stress me out, and a bit more of the things that I enjoy. Sounds like a generally good idea for anyone really, I wonder why I never thought of it before…”
    That made me laugh a bit. It’s too, too easy to let the stressy stuff dominate. Moaning is far easier than thinking positively somehow. I hope this works for you.

    • Thank you! I agree, and that’s part of the reason I wrote this. I’ve never had much patience with people who complain, and I try not to do it too much. My philosophy is if you’re upset about something that’s within your power to change, then change it. If you can’t change it, then there’s no point complaining anyway. Might sound a bit harsh, but it works for me!

  2. The Cambridge 23things http://23thingscambridge.blogspot.com/ was absolutely the best thing of 2010 for me. I hope you find yours equally rewarding and enjoyable.

  3. Sounds like what you are doing is completely right – rest, restore, reflect and live within the difficult times, so you have energy for when life becomes a little easier – and it will – but being aware that you don’t have to go back to the same stuff. I think I would concur with your comment here about changing it if you can and dealing with it if you can’t, people who say “I have no choice” are forgetting that we always have a choice, just sometimes it’s between risk and riskier, or between uncomfortable and scary: not all choices are nice. I’ve been trying to juggle some of the things I do because I’ve not been spending time on things that I want to . I was told by a friend to go off and read 978-1400202980 which was an interesting (vaguely religious but not overly so) and that was an useful perspective.

  4. Not often I comment on a blog Laura, but couldn’t resist this one! I never did as much as you do, let alone Ms Batts, but this is exactly what I found I went through. Taking a year out has done me a great deal of good and I’ve found I am beginning to think about taking up some of the professional development I enjoy (meeting people, applying for conference bursaries) without pushing myself into doing the things I don’t enjoy (committees) because I feel I ought to. My life is so much more what I want it to be than it was this time last year, and you will be ok. Take care of yourself, and enjoy!

  5. […] may simply be that you can’t fit everything in. Laura wrote an excellent post recently about prioritising activities and finding time for yourself – something I have recently come to realise is incredibly important. I’ve had to think […]

  6. […] of this gave me a lot of food for thought, and fed back into much of what I’ve been thinking lately on what I should focus on and what I should do less of (for more on this, see Joeyanne‘s […]

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