Last week, we talked about lies that we’re telling ourselves. These lies tend to pop up when we’re feeling particularly overwhelmed with our workload. Addressing the lies is a huge first step, but they’re not always easy to tackle. There are some other things that we can do in the meantime to reduce the overwhelm.
So let’s have at it, shall we?
1. Eat the frog first. It’s not as bad as you think it is.
That thing you’re dreading most? Do it first.
Set aside 5 minutes first thing in the morning to tackle it.
Dreading that report?
Come in a little early and tackle it before you start anything else. (Don’t even think about checking your email before you dive into the report! That’s a time suck!)
Dreading a particular group?
Try to schedule them when you’re feeling freshest. Don’t try to schedule them at the end of the day on Friday!
The worst part about doing these things is thinking about doing them. If you can get them done first thing, then you won’t have to dread them! And you’ll start your day feeling super accomplished!
2. Set goals.
What do you want to accomplish? Remind yourself of your goals every day and do one small thing towards your biggest goal.
Want some more ideas? Check out this blog post!
3. Schedule blocks.
It’s easy to let your schedule get out of control. Be intentional with how you’re spending your time at work. I started to be more productive when…
• I scheduled time to do paperwork and bill. I always schedule this first thing because it’s not exactly my favorite part of the job, and I got really good at procrastinating. Once I had a set paperwork time, I was a lot more productive!
• I scheduled time to prepare for my therapy sessions. This meant I was ready to tackle each session. No more scrambling at the last minute!
• I schedule time to check email. I only opened my email program during set times of the day and turned off notifications. This made it a lot easier to stick to my plan, and I had more control over my day! Email is one of the biggest time sucks.
• I scheduled time to make copies. This saved me tons of time because I didn’t have to make multiple trips, and I scheduled a time when I knew there wouldn’t be a massive line.
4. Plan ahead!
Map out the big due dates (e.g., IEPs, evaluations, billing, progress reports) and work backwards. Protect yourself from crazy overwhelming weeks!
5. Don’t do it all yourself.
It’s okay to ask for help! We talked more about this last week!
I do this on my way home from work. I take a few minutes to think about the things that went well during the day. Did a student make progress on a goal? Did I collaborate well with a teacher? Did I conquer a pile of paperwork? It’s a great way to debrief and wrap up work on a good note!
7. Connect with positive SLPs.
“You are the average of the five people who you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
As SLPs, we might not want to take this too literally! 🙂 I was spending the majority of my time with three-year-olds, so I’m not sure what that says about me!
I think the principle is really powerful, though. Who do you talk to about your work? Do you talk to people who always complain? Do you talk to people who inspire you? Be intentional about who you talk to about work. If you don’t have SLPs to talk to “in real life,” then follow some inspiring SLPs on Instagram or Facebook and schedule some time to soak in their positivity!
8. Try something new.
If you’re lacking inspiration or not enjoying your work, then try something new. Take a course. Attend a seminar. Read a good book. Observe another SLP in your district. Create some new materials. Reorganize a part of your speech room. Really, whatever floats your boat!
If all else fails, you can look at cute animals! 🙂
What do you do to reduce stress at work?