Coping with busyness

Thursday 2 May, 2019

Principal’s Blog_2 May 2019

Busyness often gets a bad rap – but learning to handle a busy life by identifying priorities and carving out downtime is an important life-skill in today’s busy world – and one that children can learn from quite a young age.

We encourage each girl at Pymble to complement her academic learning with participation in any number of co-curricular sports, activities, performing arts opportunities, leadership roles or service learning commitments.

Our aim is to provide a balanced personalised education that fosters well-rounded individuals with the skills, knowledge and disposition to flourish during their busy years of learning at the College and in the unpredictable life that lies beyond our Marden gates.

The co-curricular opportunities are many and varied and, combined with our robust academic program, can result in a very busy weekly schedule for some of our girls – a busyness that can sometimes feel overwhelming.

At no point, however, should any girl feel so busy that she is at the point of exhaustion or extreme stress. Busyness should also be contained within normal waking and bedtime hours.

If training, homework, assignments or study are regularly impacting on your daughter’s sleeping hours, it might be time to review her approach to her commitments and to adopt a few basic time management strategies, such as the following:

  • Take time each week to plan the upcoming week’s schedule. The weekly planner should factor in co-curricular training or practise sessions as well as assignments and due dates, homework, study time and some relaxation time each day.
  • Make a priorities list. Base this on due dates and the time available to complete tasks.
  • Establish a space that is conducive to focussed working. Ideally this is a clear table or desk in a quiet space, away from household traffic, and not in bed, which should be reserved solely for sleep.
  • Eliminate distractions. Work will be completed faster and more effectively when your daughter’s mind stays focussed on each task. Phones have no place in the study space, nor does the television. If your daughter is using a laptop or iPad to complete her work, make it a rule that she logs out of all social media apps and games so she doesn’t receive notifications on her device while she is working.
  • Factor in some downtime or reward time each day. Just as we factor in wellbeing time for your daughter each day at the College, it’s important to schedule some personal time into her before and after school schedule. A 20-minute leisurely soak in the bath, time spent walking or playing with a pet, watching a favourite show or even some dedicated YouTube or social media time can become a feel-good reward for sticking to her planned schedule.

Coping with busyness starts with the right mindset. It’s about viewing a jam-packed day or week as a number of learning opportunities and challenges that can and will be embraced and met with good planning.

The organisational skills and work habits your daughter learns at school can be marvellous tools that last a lifetime – and they start with embracing her busy and rewarding school life.