I expect 60. I expect 60 out of my colleagues. 70 is a bit different. At 70 I look disheveled. I double my caffeine & halve my other calories. I roll on 5 hours tops, if I get 8 hours of sleep, then I actually feel sluggish. At 80+, it gets wicked.  80+ is walking in the door from being on the road for four days and having an 18 month old girl not recognize her father. 80+ brings with it John Chaney’s eyes. 80+ means I’m not as efficient at my job, spending time with my family goes to less than ten minutes per day, I am irritable, I end up having to make apologies & amends on a much more regular basis (and I write run-on sentences).  Sinus infections are perpetual and influenza/mono/bronchitis make regular appearances. With 168 hours in a week, I now know my limitations for how many hours in a week I can work.

Most of August was spent putting in over eighty hours of work in a week. This was work. I didn’t blog. I didn’t tweet. I didn’t create. Those are the other professional bi-products of working too many hours, I lose connection with my professional learning network.

It was necessary to put in the time. But over the last two weeks, I’ve cut back. I went to below 70 two weeks ago. And this week, I worked fewer than 60 hours for the first time in a long time.

I’m not writing this down to get patted on the back for “being such a hard working boy.” I’m writing this down to tell on myself and to keep a digital reminder that working too much is bad. I want to see my daughter grow up. I need daily dialog with my wife. If I’m not available from 7am through 9pm I’m not going to get what I desperately want out of this life.

With a new school starting up, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about legacy. I’ve asked my students to reflect on legacy and think about what they want to leave behind. I don’t want to leave behind raccoon eyes and latte teeth. The message has been sent home loud and clear by older workaholics over the last two years: spend time with you daughter. She is special and will grow up faster than you know. Support your wife more. 

Gary Stager posted ended with a slide at PFUNC that showed a picture of children. It stated, “Less us. More them.” I think I’m going to take that to heart. Not just in the classroom, but in my entire professional life. I need to do less and that will increase the capacity of the rest of the group. It’s not like I’m doing anything amazing that can’t be done by other people. The reality is that I have too many dang ideas and want to run with too many projects. Less me. More them. I’ve been trying to plug into student projects. I’m going to try and keep one project going at a time. I want to load my project in Project Foundry the same way the students do. I ended under 60 this week, it was a four day week with Labor Day on Monday. Next week I’m hoping to put in 50 in five days. I’m betting I’ll be more creative, a better listener, and have more fun. I may be off of this blog for awhile. Start-up is more intense than I reckoned it would be. I’m having a blast though.

(Apologies for lack of links. Posting on a Verizon Mifi outside Wausau, WI where Verizon has yet to set up shop)

About Michael

Do Work!
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