Specialist SEN Solicitor
1st November 2021
Today, I want to talk about the importance of always leaving yourself a margin of error of time for things that you plan to do and also learning to say "no" to things sometimes (as they are related, believe it or not!).
Unfortunately, we have grown up in a society where being busy and not having enough time to do things is often seen as a badge of honour and something to boast about. But being busy and not having enough time to do things you want to do is not something to be proud of and should always be avoided, if at all possible.
In fact, you should actually be more proud of the fact that you have time to do the things that you want to do, instead of saying that you cannot do things that you want to do, just because you are too busy!
By not leaving yourself more time than you need to do things, you are effectively not leaving yourself any margin of error over time to allow you to breathe and not always feel so hurried. This will end up making you more busy and feeling more stressed than you want to.
I always like to say that there is a difference between ‘stress’ and ‘pressure’, as pressure is often quite good and is something that you put on yourself that motivates you, makes you want to do something well and is in your control. But stress is when other people put you under pressure and it is therefore out of your control and often demotivating.
The irony therefore of not leaving yourself any time margin is that you are now not just putting yourself under pressure, but you are actually now also putting yourself under stress!
Not having enough time to do something is often because you are trying to do too many things within a short period of time and are therefore not being realistic with yourself. You usually have to just step back and look at things more realistically.
One of the things that I’ve also noticed over the years is that, to avoid this from happening, you often need to accustom yourself to start saying “no” to requests from other people (or even yourself) when asked to do things sometimes – i.e. not always feeling that you should say “yes” to everything you are asked to (or can) do.
It’s best summarised in the old adage: “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should do it!”
Ending up doing things that you do not really want to do, but are committed to, or not having enough time to do the things that you want to do, will just consciously or unconsciously make you feel sad and frustrated.
Also, everything adds up, so, if you always agree to things and accustom yourself to always say “yes” to everything that you are asked to do (externally or internally), then you will eventually not have enough time left to do the things that you really want to do. I know that this is very hard to do from personal experience, but the more you do it, the better you will become at it.
So, this week, try to say “no” as much as possible to other people (or even yourself) who ask you to do something, but which you do not really want to do, and also try to leave yourself a margin of error of time when planning to do something.
Or, even if you want to do something, but you then realise that, practically, you will probably not be able to do it within the time allocated, also try to say “no” to it. As I say, it will become easier the more that you do it!
In this week's SEN Update, you will find sections entitled:
I know how busy everyone always is, so please feel free just to read the sections that are of interest to you or read everything; the choice is always yours.
A lot of SEN news this week was focused on the Budget and the announcements of reports that it will include £2.6 billion to help children with special educational needs and disabilities and £1.8bn to help schools and colleges tackle lost learning from the pandemic, and bring total education recovery support to almost £5bn.
As ever, there were supporters and critics of these announcements, particularly a concern that the SEND money was for 'capital' investment (i.e. buildings and similar), rather than 'revenue' funding (i.e. practical everyday and ongoing support).
In terms of news, here are the other articles that I found of interest this week:
Budget 2021: Schools cash to be restored to 2010 levels after 10 years of cuts
Rishi Sunak’s learning catch-up fund is ‘false economy’, says former schools tsar
Disadvantaged pupils in England lag behind in Covid learning catch-up
Again, aside from clicking on the relevant links for more information, I would also remind you of the very useful resources and information provided on the following websites:
- Council for Disabled Children
- Special Needs Jungle
I would also highlight again the magazines: SEN Magazine and Autism Eye which are both very helpful to any parents or professionals involved with children/young people with SEN.
Keep safe until next week.
With best wishes
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