Accepting Imperfection

Accepting Imperfection

A key skill in developing a healthier work-life balance is to learn to accept that not everything will be perfect and be OK with that.

By Samuel Kett

Life as a teacher means that a number of things that you work on are not going to be as good as you know they could be, simply because you don’t have enough time to dedicate to all of the obligations and expectations. Many of us attempt to complete all tasks to the absolute best of our ability, which leaves us feeling burnt out, and yet we still know there is more we could do. Some leaders and consultants think that being mindful, doing yoga, reading tarot cards, doing some well-being PD or putting on morning tea every now and then will relieve this. Yeah, some of those ideas can support your well-being, however, none of them reduce the unrealistic expectations or workload we often face as educators.

Be OK, So You Can Be Great

We need to get comfortable with the discomfort of doing just OK at some parts of our job, not terrible, not exceptional, but professionally acceptable. By accepting imperfection we create more time and energy to be excellent at the parts of the job that are most meaningful. The most meaningful parts of the job are the actions we take in which students get the best of us.

Focus On Your Strengths

When we focus on our strengths at work, we feel energised and engaged rather than jaded and burnt out. Don’t you often find that you end up spending so much time on the parts of the job that you least enjoy or that are outside of your strengths or interests? Parts of the job that drain your energy are going to take longer to get to a really good level.

Instead, dedicate most of your time to the aspects of educating that bring you energy, get the best out of you and help you to inspire your students because you’re able to model positivity with those parts of the job. 

The elements of the job that drain you, are often outside of your strengths and interests. Out of professional and moral obligation, yes still do them, but start to allow yourself to complete these tasks in a more straightforward and efficient manner to free up the little time you do have for the aspects of educating that will enable you to flourish. When you’re flourishing, your students and colleagues win too. 


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