Earlier this summer, I led my colleagues through a reflection on the past semester, and imagining the one to come.
Before we began, I had my colleagues read this article by Greg McKeown: http://changethis.com/manifesto/117.04.Essentialism/pdf/117.04.Essentialism.pdf
I was really challenged by Mr. McKeown's emphasis on all the things we do in life to be busy, thinking that busyness will fulfill us. Yet, we move farther and farther away from the things that breathe life into our work - and thus, us. If doing [working] is a human right, shouldn't we find more of ourselves in that act?
In particular, Mr. McKeown defined the word priority. It meant ONE. ONE thing or action. WE have made the word plural - and in the process, have probably made more trouble for ourselves. How do we find focus or meaning in the doing - if all of our doing is running around after 5-10 different things?
In my work, I have 2 particular titles. In the 2013-14 academic year, I had even more responsibilities that extended beyond my 2 distinct titles. ...and I was exhausted. I couldn't find the singular purpose, the unifying thread - I just felt at the mercy of so many others pulling on my various strings.
Until our activity. I asked my colleagues to reflect on the following:
1) What do you love about your job?
2) What are the best things you do (in your job)?
3) How do you feel about the past semester?
4) What are your feelings about the upcoming semester?
5) What one thing do you want to do, which could create a more fulfilling work life?
6) What is the priority for your position?
As a result of our activity, I was able to focus on the one priority for my positions - and it is below.