I’ve not posted on my blog in three weeks. For a man who was so determined to write something twice a week, every week, when the school term finished for the summer, that’s quite the drop-off. You often see bloggers chat about how they need ‘time for me’, or that they’ve fallen out of love with blogging. Sometimes you’ll see people say that life simply got on top of them, and that blogging, unexpectedly had to go. They’d not planned for it but, for them, blogging wasn’t a non-negotiable.
And that’s totally fine. But for me, that wasn’t the case.
I’d always planned to fall off the blogging bandwagon in the final two weeks of November. At work, this represents the busiest time of the year. We have Year 11 mock exams, Year 10 assessments, and Key Stage Three marking, back-to-back. It can feel relentless. Every year, though, my marking workload has become easier and easier. As you grow and develop as a teacher, you work out systems to speed up the whole process. Like most things, you get better at teaching the more you do it.
Believe it or not, I actually finished the majority of my marking a week before the data deadline. This was huge: I felt SO organised. The real kicker came from an MA in Teaching Studies that I’ve taken on this year (more on that in a future post). The Literature Review was due imminently, and I decided to devote all of my time to getting that right.
I didn’t make a song and dance about it, though. Instead, I went quiet across all of my social media channels.
Not so long ago, I wrote about priortisation versus procrastination. You can read that here, but the too-long-didn’t-read version is that you should always make time for whatever you consider valuable in life. If you think that you’re working too much, and that it’s eating into your personal life, then something needs to change – since you’re not prioritising whatever you consider to be the most important in life.
I consider blogging, developing a brand, and doing it consistently to be one of my priorities in life. It’s a really fun hobby that I really enjoy doing. I’ve preached about consistency time and again because it’s a key component of developing healthy habits. It’s also one way to get noticed by people in the blogging and social media sphere. Not posting will result in no one reading or caring about your online content; it’s that simple.
With that all being said, it’s good to stay grounded. Blogging isn’t my career; it’s a hobby. My Masters in Teaching Studies has deadlines to ensure that I’ll be ready for the submission date in August. Sometimes, you just have to rejiggle priorities to get everything done. And if that means not focusing on one of my hobbies for a couple of weeks, then so be it.
We should always be putting our mental wellbeing first. I was spending a lot of time in front of a computer screen in November to get my teaching work and MA work sorted. Any more time with my brain in a hyper-focused state and I’d have reached capacity. My brain would have melted, there’s no disputing that.
When you’ve got other priorities, fitting in yet another thing to do can lead to overload and burn out. Taking time away from a screen and spending more time on your other, offline, hobbies, can do wonders for mental wellness. Speaking of taking time out…
The productivity boost
If you’re overworked and burned out, yet still endeavour to produce content, it’s not going to be your best work – and that’s a fact. Sure, there are times when writing something is better than nothing, since it’ll give you something to edit and work with later, but there’s a problem with that. If you’re not giving yourself time to recoup your energy, then the second draft you write later will be just as poor quality and low effort.
Taking time away from whatever it is you’re struggling to produce will, nine times out of then, give you a much-needed boost in productivity that your body’s craving.
What do you do when you’re feeling unproductive? I’d love to read your tips in the comments below.
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