Monday, August 21, 2006

Good-bye Summer??

School starts this week. The beginning of a new school year is always so exciting - and I tend to wax nostaligic about those years I was a teacher. A new school year was always my favorite time of the year. Setting up the room, writing all the kid's names on little punch out apples to hang on the bulletin board. Everything clean and neat and new. It was before you knew which kids were going to drive you crazy and long before you start counting down the days until Christmas break.

I'm not a teacher anymore and find myself in the position of "parent". It's different from this view. Buying all the school supplies, seeing a teacher's name written on a piece of paper and wondering if your child will be cared about. If that new teacher will see just how wonderful and extraordinary your child really is. My middle child is starting Kindergarten this year. I think she'll love it.

My youngest will go to pre-school. She too will love it.

And I will find myself - for the first time, with some quiet hours for writing. Three times a week. It's also sad and exciting. But when I look at how unproductive I have been this summer, I want to tackle this new school year with some real goals and plans. I don't want to get side-tracked and fritter those precious hours away. I want to be able to focus on my kids when they come home from school - not be thinking about what I didn't get finished.

So - I feel the urge of goal-setting coming on. I know most people think about that in January - but now feels like the right time.

I won't break it down into hours yet.

But my #1 goal - is to close down my e-mail while I'm working. I'm afraid I've developed a Pavlovian dog response when the e-mail dings to tell me there's mail in there. It breaks my train of thought and then I take a while to get back on track.

So the goal is this: Work first.

I hereby promise (I'll try) to only check my e-mail once when I turn on my computer, then close my outlook program and not check again until I'm finished for the day.

Sounds so simple but I think this one goal will help me actually do everything else I need to do.

Kind of sad, huh?

Here's to productivity!