How much is too much? When to switch off.

Whether it’s a weekday evening on a school night or in the middle of the school holidays, the nature of a job as a teacher or school leader makes it difficult to know where to draw the line between doing your duty as a teaching professional and going above and beyond, so it can be hard to switch off and enjoy your own time. However, it’s important for your own well-being and motivation that you rest, recharge and maintain a good work-life balance.

Here are some of the things you can do to help you switch off.

Set yourself a cut-off point

There will always be points in the term where working at home is unavoidable, so if this is the case then make sure you set yourself boundaries. Whether that’s a cut-off point in the evening or dedicating certain times to your family and friends, it’s important to be firm with yourself and stop when you say you need to.

Get regular amounts of sleep

If you’re regularly working late or getting little amounts of sleep, the effects of this will be counter-productive when it comes to switching off from work and unwinding. A lack of sleep can affect your concentration and productivity, meaning you’re more likely to feel the need to catch up with work in your own time or feel stressed that you’ve fallen behind. As well as this, you’re more likely to do your immune system harm and come down with illnesses more often.

Hand in hand with setting yourself boundaries, be firm with getting a good amount of sleep at a regular time.

Plan ahead and stay organised

Sometimes we find ourselves working in our own time simply because of bad time management or a lack of organisation. If you’re forever writing things down and losing track of your notes, or feel overwhelmed by the amount of printed work you’re bringing home, why not look into some apps or software to help you organise your workload? Dropbox, Evernote and Basecamp are popular tools for managing and organising files, creating task lists and setting reminders. Whilst it may take a while to get into the swing of a new habit, by planning out your time in advance, you’ll find yourself feeling a lot less guilty about not working out of hours when you’re on top of things.

Lean on your peers

Just as you wouldn’t want to see your colleagues feeling the strain of overworking, your co-workers will often be some of the first to point out when they think you’re taking too much home with you. Lean on your good working relationships for support and advice sharing as they may be able to help you or even share their own tips for managing your time and switching off at the end of the day. Don’t forget – it’s not all about work, so don’t let the topic dominate the time you spend socialising.

Our training course, Building leadership capacity, is coming up on 28th June in Manchester, where you will identify a personal development plan to support the responsibilities of a role in leadership. You can find out more and book your place here.