What if I told you there was one simple thing you could do today that would reduce teacher burn out. What if I told you this simple action takes less than a minute?
Would you do it?
No… I’m not trying to sell you on some new teaching fad, some new time management app, or a miracle pill. I’m simply sharing one simple way you can set healthy boundaries when it comes to your teaching job and personal life.
For years, I’ve seen (and felt!) just how overwhelmed, stressed out, and mentally exhausted teachers are. It’s all over FB groups, in my IG feed. It’s in your emails to me. And personally, all the stress led me to full-blown anxiety attacks and depression.
Honestly, it’s heartbreaking. Good teachers are leaving the field at an alarming rate. And can you blame them? Teaching is rated as one of the top 10 most stressful jobs.
And stressful it is…
How many sleepless nights have you spent stressing over:
- your students
- your paperwork
- your principal
How many times have you checked your school email while out with your family on a Saturday afternoon just to see another email from that one parent? Or saw a meeting notice come across your screen while you’re trying to decompress during your lunch break?
All these little things add up.
They seem small, but over time they add up. They add up to stress, overwhelm, and teacher burnout.
See, when you’re not taking care to set boundaries between your personal and professional time it’s only a matter of time before you burnout.
Avoid Teacher Burnout with This Simple 1 Minute Action
Do you want to know the simple 1 minute trick for avoiding burnout?
The simple action you can take right-this-minute that will help you cut down on stress and overwhelm and finally set at least one healthy boundary when it comes to your teaching career?
It’s so simple, really… I feel like you’re going to laugh when I share it.
The Simple 1 Minute Trick to Avoid Teacher Burnout
Ok… that one simple way to help you avoid teacher burnout?
Delete your school email from your personal phone.
Yup… that’s it. Find the icon and click:
You can even do it right now! Seriously, I’ll wait…
Ok… Doesn’t that feel so good?
It should and I’m proud of you for taking this step towards a healthy work/home balance.
Does it Make a Difference?
But how does this one simple action make such a huge difference? For starters, now instead of checking your email before bed (filling your head with more “to-do” lists, school thoughts, principal problems, and overall school-related stress) you can just simple… go to bed.
Or how about instead of seeing an email from “that parent” on a Saturday afternoon, ruining your mood and your time with your family, you see it on Monday when you can deal with the issue or concern right away.
Moral of the story? Yes… deleting your school email can make a HUGE difference!
Setting Boundaries Between School Life and Personal Life
One of the major benefits of this simple action is the clear boundaries it creates between your work and home life. As teachers, we are always so guilty of working at home, thinking of work at home, doing projects at home. Checking your email can now be one less thing you have to do while at home.
Another major reason? For most teachers, the school board does not pay for your mobile device. With this in mind, you are putting yourself at risk when you use your personal device to access work-related content like emails.
What if you lost your phone? What if it got hacked?
In addition to all your personal information you keep on your phone, other people will have access to school-related information including students.
There’s also the risk of having your phone confiscated in an investigation. If for some reason a student or parent is being investigated in your classroom and there is information in emails on your phone, your phone can be confiscated. YIKES!
You Can Take the Plunge
I know many of you reading this are thinking… There’s no way I can do this, Leigh. I get so many emails throughout the day (and night!) it would cause more issues if I missed them.
And for that I say… think of a desk job. Are you expected to check and reply to the emails you receive? Sure. But are you expected to do this on your own personal time? Not.A.Chance.
My husband and I recently refinanced our home. We worked with a few different employees at the bank to make sure paperwork and other things were submitted properly. It was a pretty intense process and the employees were great at answering questions/concerns via email. Many of the items that needed to be completed were time-sensitive. But did we ever receive an email response after hours? Nope… nada… zip! Most of our “after hours emails” were replied to the next morning, after 8:30 when the bank opened. And you know what? I expect that most jobs are like that… including teaching ones.
That’s where the issue is. Teachers are so used to doing things “for the kids” on their own time, they forget that it’s ok for them to just have “you” time.
Which all work and no downtime equals burnout.
Questions to Ask Yourself
If you’re still not sure if you should take the plunge and delete your school email off your phone, ask yourself these questions:
- Does having my school email on my phone stress me out?
- Do I check my school email more when I’m off the clock?
- Are emails that are school-related stealing joy from my time off?
- Do I find myself checking my school email before going to bed, then struggling to fall asleep?
If you answered yes to any of these… then please delete your email off your phone! You don’t need that kinda extra stress in your life!
But When Do I Check My Emails? I Teach All Day
Reality: Teachers are very busy during the day because they are teaching. It’s challenging to check emails while you’re teaching. That’s probably why so many teachers have their emails on their phones, to begin with. It’s much easier to check emails when you’re sitting at home “relaxing”, not in a classroom full of 21 kindergarteners.
But, what’s the price? A stress overworked teacher who’s headed for teacher burnout. Instead, find time during your planning or after school before you leave for the day to review emails. For me, I would check my email at 3 specific times:
- When I first got to school
- On my planning period
- At the end of the day
Checking a responding to emails during these times allowed me to prioritize my “me” time at home while still maintaining professional upkeep with emails. It also allowed me to troubleshoot issues right in my classroom. Not stress over them while at home when I can’t really do anything about them.
Take Back Your Time
This small simple action really can help you create boundaries between your home life and school life. You just need to try! I’m going to end this post with a challenge:
Delete your email from your phone for 6 weeks. See how you feel. If after 6 weeks, you don’t feel like it made a difference, then by all means, please put it back on your phone. (One man’s trash… or something like that) But, if you notice a difference, then keep it off. Also, be sure to report back to me (leave a comment!) as to how this challenge went for you.
Remember: The goal is to save you stress, not cause it. Who knows, maybe eventually you’ll forget why you ever had it on there anyways.
Less Stress More Teaching:
Here at The Applicious Teacher, I’m all about saving time while being the BEST TEACHER you can be! Here are a few more posts to help you save time and stress less (and avoid teacher burnout!)