educatortips worklifebalance Jan 25, 2022
Microtransactions. A weird, seemingly unconnected concept to early years education. However, this idea is gold when it comes to finding the pathway to good days that run smoothly!
Let me share how...
Those of you who have followed us for some time know that we love goal setting and having a direction. But, sometimes our bigger goals can feel so far away. Even though you might be moving towards them, sometimes the fixation on your goals can take you away from doing the things that need to be done, and things that will bring more ease and fluidity to your day.
If you are anything like me, you can be guilty of setting a goal or project and throwing yourself wholeheartedly into it, but it's at the detriment of everything else. What happens next is that all the things I must do begin to get on top of me. All of a sudden, I am overwhelmed and I can do nothing.
I create this vicious cycle of 1,000,000,000% action and involvement in one thing, and then when I look back I find all the other things I have been neglecting in my wake.
By using this idea of microtransactions I can better keep on top of all of the things. I chunk my workload down into different areas:
  1. The things that are just part of my rhythm and I do without thinking every day
  2. The things I can batch ('batching' is the idea of completing many things that are similar in one go)
  3. The things I would rather do (instead of all the things I need to do)
  4. The things I unconsciously avoid at all costs (we've all got something we don't want to do!)
When I looked at my workload through this lens, it was easy to see where I could utilise microtransactions.
What is a microtransaction? A microtransaction is something that you do that feels like nothing, but adds up at the end of the day/week/month/year.
If I banked $5 every single day, I would not miss the $5 in the moment. However, when I checked the bank at the end of the year I would have saved $1825. That is nothing to sneeze at! When taking this approach, do you think I would feel the pain of the $5 every day, or the sheer joy of the $1825? Let me tell you right now, it is the sheer joy and elation! A weekend away did you hear me say? You betchya!
So, what are the things you can do within your business that are microtransactions?
When I worked as an educator, I was also a coordinator and scheme owner. I had to be a ninja at getting everything done. I worked three 10 hours days as an educator, then ran Rainbow Bridge FDC (with my two business partners). I also had two younger children, a husband, a house and a dog to look after. It was a lot.
But, I managed by doing small (and I mean small!) microtransactions every day.
Every microtransaction added up, and the feeling of things becoming easier, getting something done and ticking things off the to-do list, gave me such momentum. (And yes, having a coffee was one of my microtransactions!)
Here are some examples of microtransactions that might help you to get things done:
  • Doing one simple (and I mean simple) observation every day (often I would get into my obs once I started, but the goal was only one simple ob per day),
  • Pre-preparing my lunch so I would actually eat,
  • Making sure I went to bed early the night before,
  • Planning my weekly menu (this is gold, because you can plan easy meals on late afternoons, or when you have sports to go to),
  • Planned to use my slow cooker (and made pre-prepared packets so I could just pull a pack out of the freezer the night before, then dump and run in the morning),
  • Put a load of washing on the night before so it was ready to hang out first thing,
  • Purposefully stopped, straightened my spine, opened my chest, and took 3 deep breaths,
  • Promised myself I would have an uninterrupted cup of tea at rest time,
  • Filled my water bottle up before I started work, and made sure I drank it by lunch,
  • Picked out my clothes the night before
These are just a few of the things I did when I could to make my day run smoother and to help me feel like I was getting somewhere. It also meant I was looking after my physical needs and my mental health. Can you see how doing these really simple and easy tasks can set you up for feeling good?
What are some simple things that you can turn into microtransactions? Things that will help you feel like you have more space in your day, and over time will add to your feeling of wellbeing.
Right now your wellbeing must be a priority. Our workload has not decreased, in fact, after the last two years, it feels like a mountain! Finding these tiny windows where we can bring ease into our day is essential.
What are some microtransactions you have come up with? Let us know below!