Sunday, 7 October 2012

The 'zone'


I'm just coming to the end of a one-week 'stand-down' - in the NT, we only have one week for school holidays at the end of the first and third terms, as we have (a glorious!!) four weeks in the middle of the year.
It is these 'breaks' from the fast-paced school term times, where I am best-able to spend blocks of focused, uninterrupted time on creatively planning for my teaching, or working on 'bigger-picture' ideas... I like to go into a 'zone' where I can focus intensely for periods of time, without the interruptions and distractions that are inevitable when working in a people-oriented organisation such as a school.
I find it relaxing to know that I have this time available to me when on holidays, as I don't really find enough 'blocks' of time for this sort of sustained, focused work during school terms (night times and weekends are my best solution atm...). I also find being in this 'zone' intrinsically motivating, as I am able to make some progress on the more 'transformational' projects and work that I consider interesting and valuable - the purpose is clear and important to me.


A typical day:


Whilst I try to give myself a good deal of 'solo time' every morning by way of arriving early at work, a lot of this time is often used on checking plans and details, setting up for the day / week ahead and other 'transactional' tasks. Once the 'people' (staff and students) begin arriving, the day whirs by rapidly and I hop between teaching duties, meetings, communicating with staff and students, general problem-solving, behaviour issues and other tasks in a (very!!) hurried manner...
As an early-riser, my brain tends to 'fade' a bit in the afternoon / evening... So I usually go for a run at this time... I used to enjoy the mental 'break' this gave me from school, but more and more I use this time when I am (usually) alone to ponder some school issues and, if I'm lucky, solve a problem or two...

Before school commences again tomorrow, I hope I have made the most of my time in 'the zone'...


How / where do other people find / make time for sustained, uninterrupted, focused work..?
What are the conditions that best bring out your creativity..?


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