Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Give Yourself the 5 Minutes You Lost During COVID

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OK, so we lost a lot more than 5 minutes. But these 5 minutes that I mention now are so important and I think bringing them back will make all the difference.

I’m talking about the 5 minutes or so it took to move from one building on your campus to another between classes and meetings. Now, with everything being online, you close one Zoom meeting at 11.29 and jump into the next one at 11.30.

This week, like many weeks, I had several back to back things, and I made a conscious decision to give myself 5 minutes. So I left a meeting at 4.57 and joined the next one at 5.02. It didn’t make a huge difference to others, I feel, but made a huge difference for me. To get up, get a drink, cuddle my child, stretch my legs. Instead of when you do NOT take breaks, and you’re in meetings back to back eating and drinking and needing the bathroom and your child is angry at you.

Those 5 minutes are 5 minutes to get your body moving, to take a breath where you don’t have to be talking or focusing or looking at anyone or at a screen. Those 5 minutes sometimes stretched to 10 on days the weather was too good to rush to our next meeting,or when we met a colleague on the way. Or when we arrived at a meeting and some people were not there yet and we socialized. Ahhh. I miss that time. And I try to make 5 mins for truly checking in with each other before getting down to business. It makes a difference.

I also try to finish meetings before the hour is up. It’s not always possible or desirable, but if it is possible, I try to do it. This gives everyone a breather as well.

Think about how all those 5 and 10 minutes or breathing space add up to throughout your day…

What are you doing to regain your 5 minutes?

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