The end of the day on Friday seems like the end of a long marathon. Exhaustion sets in, and you proceed with your Friday night like a zombie, crashing as soon as you can from the busy work week. By Saturday morning you are finally getting your mojo back, and by Sunday the work week dread sets in. We often think of our weekends as our saving grace. “I’ll save that for the weekend,” you might say. But the weekends, as we all know, go by way too fast.
There are books and studies out there about the habits of the most successful people. What they do before bed, what they do before breakfast, etc. But what about teachers? Here are some thoughts on what the most successful art teachers do on the weekends, and some of them might surprise you!
1. Look Ahead – Specifically, at your lessons – Do you need to run to the grocery store to pick up some apples for the still life, or stop at the hardware store for paint chips? By looking ahead at lessons you will be more prepared. Painting on Thursday? Don’t wear white!
2. Plan Lunches – Meal planning is one of the most stressful things! You will be amazed at how much smoother things go when meals are planned. This should be non-negotiable. After all, we’ve all gotta eat, right!?
3. Stop Checking Emails – If you answer one email at a time all weekend long, you will never feel as though you get a break. It’s no fun to see 25 emails waiting for you on Monday either, but sometimes the break is worth it. Try checking emails just once on the weekend, put out any immediate fires, and save the rest for Monday.
4. Journal – There is no better way to get your ideas on paper. Whether you’re journaling about your personal or professional life, sometimes just getting things off your mind and onto the paper is therapeutic. I love using a Brain Book to house all of my ideas.
5. Create – Maybe this is better than therapy! Don’t let other artists make you feel guilty you don’t have a full-fledged painting studio in your garage. Creation can take a lot of forms. I often find my creative spirit when cooking , designing an invitation, or decorating. Embrace it and don’t apologize. Different seasons of life allow us time and resources to create in different ways. It’s ok.
6. Look Ahead – Plan something for an upcoming spring break, buy a concert ticket, and get it on the calendar. This will give you something to look forward to and fuel your fire on the days where everything else seems very vanilla.
7. Set Your Alarm – Don’t go throwing things at me now! It’s proven that people who get up at the same time every day (even on the weekends) are more productive and happier. Yes, I set my alarm on the weekends. Call me crazy. It works for me.
8. More Pinterest, Less Facebook – Yes, I am telling you to waste some time on Pinterest. There are so many ideas out there, and Pinterest is so inspiring. For me, it makes me feel less isolated. If that teacher can successfully implement an iPads lesson, by golly, I can, too! Why less Facebook? I find Pinterest is an inspirational boost and helps me be more productive, and often Facebook can be the opposite.
9. Unplug – We’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. I love flying on an airplane when there is no WiFi. My head is clear, I have no distracting dings coming from my device, and I can really think, dream, and plan. Wear pants with no pockets (ahem, yoga pants) so you can’t carry your phone around at all times. Yes, I just gave you permission to wear yoga pants all weekend.
10. Move – I am a happier person when I move my body, period. One funny quote that drives this home is, “I regret going to yoga, said no one ever.” Even in the winter you can get outside and walk to get some fresh air.
11. Eat the Frog – Huh? In the book “Eat That Frog,” the author suggests that we do the thing we LEAST want to do first. Eat the frog and just get it over with. Of course, this means you also have to dangle the carrot and give yourself a reward, which is always fun. If you have a task you are dreading on the weekend, don’t save it for Sunday night. It could very well ruin your weekend thinking about it.
In attempt to have a work-life balance you can live with (although I don’t think this perfect balance really exists) it’s not just about how you spend your time at work, but also how you spend your time on the weekends.
What are some things you do on the weekend that rejuvenate and refresh you?
What would you add to this list?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.