Unshakeable Book Study: Chapter 3

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Hello! Some friends and I are getting together to talk about the book Unshakeable by Angela Watson. If you haven’t already, check out Jessica’s posts over at Tales of a First Grade Teacher. She blogged about chapters 1 & 2!

Chapter 3 is all about establishing healthy habits. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it is so HARD for me to just stop working. There always seems to be something else for me to do. A teacher’s (much like a mother’s) job is truly never done! I frequently find myself as the last car in the parking lot. Surely I can’t have that much more work than everyone else??

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Even when I finally do drag myself home, I spend time checking school email, looking up ideas on Pinterest, reading blogs and texting with my coworkers. Now, I don’t actually see anything wrong with Pinterest, blogs or texting. That stuff doesn’t feel  like work to me because it is fun. However, there was a time when I had to make myself delete my school email off of my phone because anytime I got an e-mail from a specific parents, my blood would start to boil. I’ve also faced a lot of uncertainty with school/district in the last year, so I frequently though it best to only check school email when I was prepared to deal with whatever was on the other end.

Because I frequently spend my afternoons at school, I rarely work on school stuff at home. I like to use my evenings as time for me to do the things I want to do (blogging, pinning, facebooking, chatting, etc.), not the things I have to do.

In chapter 3, Angela gives 17 tips and strategies for establishing healthier habits when it comes to the work we bring home and the time we spend doing it.

Some of Angela’s BIG ideas that hit home with me:
Create flexible and realistic expectations for how much work you can do at home.
Angela writes, “I find that unexpected events usually pop up at the last minute, usually causing me to feel stressed out because I wasn’t able to get my work done. I then end up dragging a bag full of completely untouched work right back into the classroom the following day.”

Ummm you can’t see it right now, but my hand is raised and I’m saying “ME TOO!” I have done just that more times than I care to admit!! I need to be better about really bringing something home ONLY if I have time to work on it. And I don’t need to stuff it to the brim with everything that’s on my desk at school. Because bringing that bag home with all my high hopes and then seeing it sit there and stare at me all night/weekend just really bums me out!!

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Aim for small blocks of highly focused work time.
Angela writes, “Spending your time halfway in work mode and halfway in home mode will only prolong the amount of time you perceive yourself as working. Before you know it, the whole day will be gone and you’ll be moaning about how all you did was work when the truth is that you only truly worked for about an hour or two.”

I have done this a few times. Usually it is around back to school time. I bring my stuffed bag home, and I pretend to work on the couch for the whole morning/afternoon while we watch Netflix or play with the pups. It typically includes stopping for snacks and surfing social media. I have an office where I could be less distracted, but do I use it? Not usually. Then I proceed to complain about how I a) didn’t get anything done and b) spent the whole day working.

So, there you go. Those are my top 2 unhealthy work habits that I desperately need to work on. Angela gives some thoughtful and detailed strategies to help us combat these bad habits!

If you have not already, I would highly recommend purchasing Unshakeable. This post is just my opinion and reflection. Buy the book, read it for yourself, and let me know what you think!

Check back tomorrow for my reflection on chapter 4!
4 Determine how to do what matters most

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