[00:00:00] Dan: Well, hey guys. Thank you so much for coming and joining me again this week. Today I'm gonna be giving you three steps to switch your brain off from work at the end of the day so that you can go home and relax and enjoy yourself, and not have your brain constantly switched on to school mode, thinking about everything that you need to have planned for tomorrow, or thinking about you know, how to deal with something that happened with a student.
[00:00:23] Dan: Today, I'm gonna show you how you can switch your brain off so that you can actually go. And enjoy your family. Enjoy your friends. Enjoy some time just not thinking about work. Now before I do that, I wanna just quickly let you know that if you haven't got a copy of my book, Work Less, Teach More, you can go and grab yourself a free copy.
[00:00:42] Dan: I just ask you to cover postage and handling. It will help you to reduce your workload and to maintain your effectiveness as a teacher. Just head over to teacherspd.net/freewltm and you can grab yourself a copy there. Well, I often find with us teaching, and I'm sure you do too, that it gets hard to switch your brain off when you get home.
[00:01:09] Dan: Teaching is one of those jobs. Constantly is in your head. You're constantly thinking about what you did that day and whether or not you did a good enough job. You're thinking about what happened with that student and why they were like that, and how you could have done something better with that student.
[00:01:23] Dan: You might be lying in bed thinking about the next day and going, Okay, am I actually prepped for that? Oh no, I forgot to get the balloons. Something, I don't know, doesn't have be balloons. But yeah, if you've got a resource that you needed tomorrow or something, it's just this thing that's constantly in your brain.
[00:01:37] Dan: You're constantly thinking about your lesson plans, thinking. Everything. And I found that, you know, quite difficult sometimes as a teacher to be able to switch off mentally. And so I learnt these three steps, which I'm gonna teach you today, which have really changed my whole practice. Like I changed it up when I was a teacher, started doing this, Um, made a big difference for me and I know it's gonna do the same for you.
[00:02:03] Dan: the very first step is, you know, five to 10 minutes before you plan to go home, and you should have kind of like a step time that you just go home at. Highly recommend you do that, but number one is for you to actually, when there's five or 10 minutes left to the end of the day to stop what you're doing.
[00:02:19] Dan: And pack up your desk. I want you to put everything away. Put it all back where it goes. Check your rubbish in the bin. Take your plates. You know you've probably been eating at your desk. I know I used to. Right? Take all that food, put it away. Take your plates. Go and wash them up. Wash up your mugs that you've had your three coffees for today in , right?
[00:02:36] Dan: And just tidy up your space in that last few minutes of work because where you work. Ashley impacts how your brain is functioning. And so you want your workspace to be tidy all the time because it helps your brain to focus on what it needs to focus on and not be distracted, all that kind of stuff. So tidy up your desk, put everything where it belongs.
[00:03:01] Dan: That's step number one. Step number two is for you to actually go through and pack up your computer. Now, I don't mean close your computer and put it in your bag to take it home with. Okay. What I mean by packing up your computer is I want you to go through, make sure your documents are saved, and then close them all right?
[00:03:19] Dan: All your documents, your spreadsheets, whatever you have open, should all be closed. All of your tabs in your web browser all need to be closed. So if there are some things in your web browser that you want to save for later, like maybe been working on a particular, uh, program, or you've been giving kids feedback and you have a setup in your tabs that are done for, you've got three tabs open that you're.
[00:03:45] Dan: To flick between things. What I want you to do, rather leaving them open, is I do want you to close them, but there are two tools that you can use to make it really simple for you to close your tabs, but yet still find everything you need really quickly when you want to reopen them. And so the first one, that's called one tab.
[00:04:03] Dan: So one tab is a great little extension that you get for your Chrome browser. And basically you go up to one tab in the top right hand corner, you click on it, and when you click on it, it's gonna close. All of your tabs all at once, so there's only one tab left, right? That's why it's called one tab. And then that one tab that's open will be one tabs actual site, but on that site, you'll have your own personal site thing there that actually has a list of all the tabs and links to open up all those tabs again.
[00:04:34] Dan: And so you could, then the next day when you want to go back to that work, you can open one tab and then click on the things, the documents that you wanna open, the websites you wanna. And they all just open up again as new tabs in your Chrome browser. So that's one way that you can do that to make it easier for you to still close all those tabs and not have to then spend 10 minutes the next day trying to find what you are looking for.
[00:04:57] Dan: And though I do that, sometimes I can do all this research and I find a great website and it's got really good details and data or something in it that I'm using for some, something I'm doing with my students since I'll be analyzing that and stuff. And then I guess to the end of the day I'm like, , I can't lose that page, right?
[00:05:11] Dan: It took me, it took me half an hour to find that page, and so one tab enabled me to get straight to that page really quickly. The other tool you could use either alongside or instead of one tab is a tool called Toby. Uh, Toby is another extension in Chrome, and what Toby allows you to do, is that you can open up Toby as its own little tab that opens up in your browser and you can actually then categor categorize all of your tabs that are open.
[00:05:41] Dan: And so if you have three tabs that are particularly for a one task, you could label a new, you know, section of tabs as we are working on to say it's your year seven science programs, right? That you're working on. And so you're gonna then save those tabs into that collect. And you can do that for multiple collections.
[00:06:01] Dan: And so then when you need it, just open Toby. You go to the collection you want, and bang, bang, bang. You can open the whole collection at once and have your 3, 5, 6, whatever tabs that you've been working. Up and open, ready for you to flick through again. All done. So there are two tools that'll enable you to really shut down and clean up, right?
[00:06:19] Dan: Pack up your computer and so you're closing your documents, you're closing all of your web browser stuff. You're closing, and this is the, probably the most important thing for you to close is your email. Make sure that email is completely closed, and I highly recommend too, that you go into your computer, whatever computer you've got, find the settings and make sure that.
[00:06:38] Dan: Your email software, right? So whether it's Outlook or Gmail or whatever, make sure it is not set to be opened up automatically when you log in, okay? Cuz you do not wanna start your day by opening your computer and having your email there in front of you with a list of things that other people want you to do.
[00:06:55] Dan: You wanna start your day off by doing the number one thing that you wanna get done that day. And planning out and getting that done that day before you open your email, cuz your email is gonna distract you from your deep work generally. So that's step two. We've packed up our desk and in step one and in step two, we're packing up our computer, making sure it is.
[00:07:15] Dan: Properly closed down for us. Now, step number three is for you to make a plan. Now a plan can be anything that is not completely finished. So you can look at, you know, your program you're working on, whatever, and just quickly jot down some points of what you need to do to get that done tomorrow or the next time you come to it.
[00:07:35] Dan: Uh, it could be that you are halfway through a lesson plan. What do you need to. To just finish that off. Maybe you just need to find an activity that does this, or you need to create a crossword or something. I don't know what you need to do, but just make your little list of what you need to finish doing to make sure that lesson plan is complete.
[00:07:54] Dan: The other thing that you wanna do is make sure you make a plan for things that have to do with students. So maybe you had, you know, an issue with a student that day, or you know, something's play in your mind about what's happened in your classroom. So what I want you to do before you leave is just sit down and make a plan of what you might do.
[00:08:13] Dan: And sometimes that could be like a script, like if you needed to make a phone call to a parent and you didn't get to. You can just quickly write out your script right before you finish the day. Then you could then use the next day. It's gonna be a hard conversation. It's gonna be an easy conversation with calling them to congratulate.
[00:08:26] Dan: You don't need a script for that, but if you are having a difficult conversation with parents, that can at sometimes be difficult. Then having a script to help you to stick with that is gonna be really helpful for when you make that phone call, help you to just stick with to saying what you wanna say and not getting distracted, uh, and getting caught into other things that those parents might.
[00:08:45] Dan: So they're the three main steps. So we're packing up our desk, we're packing up our computer, closing everything still. Then close your computer. I have, right? Make sure it's charged. If I would encourage you to leave your computer at work, to charge it at work, go home, and then you don't do any work at home.
[00:09:02] Dan: And then come in the next morning and get stuck into what you wanna do and then make a plan, right? So we're making a plan for anything that's not finished. Because what happens is your brain hates. That are not finished. If you get halfway through a song and turn it off, that song will be stuck in your head all day.
[00:09:17] Dan: And the reason it's stuck in your head is cuz it didn't complete. And your brain knows that that song didn't finish. And so it gets stuck in there. And the same thing happens with lots of things. If you get halfway through a program and then you stop or you get halfway through a unit of work, um, a lesson plan, and you stop.
[00:09:33] Dan: What happens is that halfway through just con, you're kind of constantly planning it until you get back to it to finish it. And by making that little list, you're actually telling your brain, I have a plan for four, finishing it. I don't need to think about it anymore. And then you're good to go. It's kind of like it's complete, but even though it's not quite complete.
[00:09:49] Dan: So that really works, really helps to switch off your brain when you get home so that you. Focusing on work, it can really help reduce your stress levels too, because your work is not impacting everything else that you're doing for the rest of the day as you go home for the evening. So I really wanna encourage you to give those three steps a try this week to shut things down.
[00:10:10] Dan: And if you like this kind of stuff, you're finding it enjoyable. Do make sure you go and get a copy of my book to work less and teach more. This kind of stuff is in there to help you to reduce your workload. And enable you to be a more effective teacher in the classroom. That's, you can go and get one of those at teacherspd.net/freewltm for work less, Teach more.
[00:10:31] Dan: Grab yourself a copy. I would love to send it to you for free, so go do that. I hope you enjoyed this episode and I look forward to chatting with you again next week.