On a day to day basis you don’t have time to think about the big picture and long term vision. You have a task list and a schedule and you do the things you need to do to keep everything moving forward. Periodically there are opportunities to reassign particular duties — which courses/modules you are teaching, which committees you sit on, etc — and sometimes opportunities arise that require you to make decisions that will have an ongoing effect on your daily activities.
There is nothing wrong with this. Decisions use a lot of your cognitive capacity. Routines and some stability in your task assignments help reduce the effort expended on decision making in favour of effort expended implementing your decisions. However, to minimise stress and avoid burnout, it’s useful to periodically review your activities and accomplishments in relation to your longer term goals and aspirations.
An annual Wayfinding session gives you an opportunity to look up and check that you are going in the direction you want to be going in. It’s an opportunity to adjust your course taking new possibilities into account and the check that you haven’t been drawn back onto a well worn path that you had decided was not the path you wanted to be on. It’s the way you wish your annual performance you could be, without any of the pressure to pretend that what the institution would like you prioritise is what you most want to do. In fact, one of the things we can address is how to deal with the institutional demands and constraints without losing sight of your personal goals and aspirations altogether.
In our first Wayfinding session, I’ll ask some general questions to help you reflect on what’s working, what’s frustrating, and generally review your year. In future years, I’ll look back at the notes from your last session when I’m creating your homework questions and you can let me know about anything that’s come up that you want to think about in relation to the big picture of your career trajectory. Our conversation helps you work through some of the decisions.
Timing is up to you. Chances are you don’t have a lot of time or cognitive capacity to do this kind of review in the middle of a busy teaching semester. Wayfinding could become part of your transition from the main part of the academic year into the summer, when you have fewer scheduled responsibilities and more time to focus on big projects whether those are research and writing, or reorienting some of your teaching. Or it could come at the end of the summer when you are feeling more confident about the work you really find meaningful and want support to keep that momentum through the year.
If you’ve never had Wayfinding before, we can get started anytime. You need some time and capacity to reflect in writing on your work. If you decide you’d like to do this annually or bi-annually, we can adjust the timing appropriately for our next session.
If this sounds interesting but you aren’t ready to book, sign up for the newsletter selecting “individual coaching”.