Ever feel overwhelmed?  I’d be willing to make a large bet that more than 90% of the people reading this will say loud and clear, “YES!”

That’s how I’ve been feeling lately with many things and I’ve been contemplating all the ways I can try and simplify things at school, at home, on the computer…

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with one of my close co-workers about how much we try to cram into our days at school with our students.  We constantly feel the pressure to do more, make it happen, but the time to do all that is just not there.

There have been many times since the beginning of this school year when I have said, “Stop, you are trying to do too much at once.”  I mean I have actually put myself on pause in the middle of class as I was about to hand out another assignment, start something new or try to get ‘just one more thing in before we leave’ and said, in my head, “Stop, it’s too much!”

What really needs to happen is for us to feel like we have the permission to do less, because we know that in the end that really means more gets accomplished.

Let’s face it.  It’s hard to say, “No.”  We want to do it all, help everyone, make our mark, make a difference: but sometimes we lose our way.  Take me and my tech journey.  I’ve been blogging faithfully three times a week for almost 2 years.  I feel quite a sense of accomplishment from that.  I’m proud that my content has been, in my opinion, strong.  I’m not in any way running out of ideas for posts.  There is SO much to contemplate and reflect on for that and this space I’ve created has truly made me a stronger, more effective educator.

The problem is that once we try to do too much, something’s got to give and, in some cases, things tend to drop out.  For example, with all the writing I’m trying to do and technology I’m keeping up on (not to mention the lesson planning and correcting that needs to happen on my own time…oh, ya and raising a family and being a good wife…), I feel like I’ve fallen off the Twittersphere.  Some of you may laugh, maybe even roll your eyes at that, but Twitter is a large part of a blogger’s world.  Creating and keeping a supportive PLN is so important.  I don’t want to stop, I want to find that balance.

Have you ever read Seth’s blog?  Seth Godin is Mr. Super Blogger Man and has a highly successful blog.  I really admire how each of his posts are short (unlike what I believe this post will end up being), to-the-point, and though-provoking.  With him, less is certainly more!  In some ways, on some days, I aspire to be like that.  Giving a seed of an idea that stays with you and grows with time.  That’s what I hope to do with my students, and with this blog.

So at this junction in my life, I’m trying to do a little fall cleaning of my home, my teaching and my online world – a decluttering, a streamlining, a re-prioritizing of my time and energy.

So, I offer you my plan, at least for now.

Online, I plan to cut down my posts to 2 times a week (Tuesday, Friday) and schedule in time each morning and some evenings to catch up with friends and trends on Twitter.  I want to use some found time on the computer to work on my new book Studio Days which I have self-inflicted a deadline of April 2012.

At school, my overall goal is to give myself the permission more often to slow down with my students and allow for the time dive into things worth while.  At times that will mean to spend extra time on those skills or students that need extra attention.  Less quantity will mean more quality.

And as for home, well, here are some examples of less in more:

  • less TV, more quality time with my kids
  • less clutter, more relaxed feel every time I turn to go into another room
  • less procrastination of house work during the week, more time on the week ends to enjoy
  • less junk food, more energy!
  • less toys, more involved play

I hope you don’t mind my getting a little personal here, but the way I see it, this site is not for the educational scholars who want to only talk curriculum and data.  It’s for real teachers, real administrators, real people who want to make a difference in education and in children’s lives.  And if we are to make a difference as we help others mold their own way, we need to talk about how we do that ourselves.

If you’ve made it this far in this post, you must been gettin’ me, so I ask you to please comment and let me know what your thoughts are.  Don’t just click a new link, but take a moment to ponder what “Less is More” means to you.  We must be supportive of each other if we are to be encouraging to our children and students.

 Image from www.premierdecorativestones.com/

Never Assume
Less is More - Giving Thanks