Each day we set out to accomplish all of the things on our to-do list, lesson plan, or get the items on the grocery list still sitting at home. Life happens, and we make the most of every situation, just like Mahatma Gandhi in this story:
Gandhi went to board a train one busy day. The train began to move, and he made a jump for it. As he jumped, one of his sandals fell off and landed on the platform. He had no time to get off to retrieve the sandal. Looking down at his one sandal, he made a snap decision. He took his one sandal off and threw it. It landed right next to the other one.
The people on the train looked at him strangely. One individual asked, “Why did you through your sandal?”
Gandhi’s answer, “One sandal wouldn’t do me any good, but two sandals would undoubtedly help someone else.”
There is no one I can reference for this story, but you can find it summarized in many places with the same primary components. The meaningful message in this story is to choose what to focus on and what to leave behind. The sandals had served their purpose for Gandhi but left with one; the purpose was gone. Providing the opportunity for them to help someone else was the best solution.
In our busy days, it is easy to be distracted and to focus on things that we may need to let go of. Take a look at the time of your day. How much do you have to accomplish the tasks you have marked essential? What prevents you from achieving this? Is it emails? Social media? Student behavior? Other interruptions?
- Take a good look at your time on task. This gives you a real opportunity to review the quality of time you are spending on the job you want to achieve.
- -My example of this would be an administrator wanting to get into a block of classrooms to provide feedback on instructional time used for a particular standard in the data report. Specific targets to help teaching and learning.
- -My example of this would be a teacher wanting to check students for understanding new concepts by being distracted by student behaviors.
Connect with your colleagues and discuss areas you feel are distracting and taking your focus away. Do they have similar issues, what solutions and strategies do they have?
Let’s keep this conversation going as we continue to keep our focus on what matters most. “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of the things which matter least.”-Johann Wolfgang con Goethe