Summertime in higher education is an interesting season of renewal. There is not a slow transition when July starts to come to a close. Once I look at your calendar and realize “August is coming,” pure panic begins to set in. Huge checklists take over my office (once again), hours start to fly by (once more), and lunches at my desk become more frequent. And as this happens, I begin to stretch and seek more information from “how to” articles to start to get motivated for the fast-paced world of the school year.
One article I’ve enjoyed recently is from Lifehack, entitled 25 Tiny Habits that Could Totally Change Your Life. In it, I’ve found many helpful hints to get me started on the right foot this school year. One in particular that struck me involves dealing with the avalanche of commitments we begin to make at this time of year, when everyone’s trying to get their school calendar booked. Lifehack’s Annie Mueller writes,
Respond to all invitations and opportunities with “I’ll check my calendar.” Stop the knee-jerk response that you give, whether it is negative or positive. Maybe you’re too quick to say no (I am). Or maybe you’re a people-pleaser and you’re too quick to say yes, and find yourself over-booked and overwhelmed. Give yourself time to evaluate each opportunity by simply making it your practice not to answer right away. Instead, say, “I’ll check my calendar and let you know.” Then, when you have a little time, check your calendar, your priorities, and determine what you can fit it in.
It seems simple, right? Just find a second to really evaluate your response before making a commitment. I have tried this for years, but needed a quick reminder.
Read on for more habits and tips. What advice speaks to you the most?