We often wish that we had more time. No matter how hard we try to juggle our daily tasks, time gets away from us. As educators, our time is valuable and having constructive ways of managing our time helps us to be more efficient in aligning our professional and personal duties. Here are some of the tried and tested things that I use to simplify my life, I hope they help you too.
Sometimes it is very easy for us to put off tasks for a later date or time. Eliminate the things that distract from getting things done. This could save us from the unnecessary stress. One of the easiest ways to effectively manage our time is to stop procrastinating. It may sound easy enough but we all know it is not easy to do. Prioritize and compartmentalize. Do I need to watch the marathon of my favourite TV show instead of taking care of chores around the home? Of course it would feel better to watch our favourite TV show. Clearly identifying our needs as opposed to what we want and following through on the things that we need, can lead to effective time management. This is a painful but necessary step in gaining control over your time.
Make a List
Make an old-fashioned ‘to do’ list. Whether you prefer post-it notes, an agenda, or a small notebook, use it to list the things that you need to get done. Creating a list only takes a few minutes. State the most important and easily attainable objectives first. Keep your list short. It should reflect what you are truly able to manage in the time frame that you are working with. Update your list to show items that have been completed or ones that you need to shift to another day and time. When you get through a number of the items on the list in the time you intended, you should reward yourself maybe a little TV would be an appropriate reward.
Delegate responsibilities. Assign simple tasks within your class room to your students. Students love to get involved and often enjoy responsibilities that boost their confidence. Create a reward system. This will keep students excited and engaged with the tasks that they are assigned. At home, let your family get involved in completing chores and small household projects. This will allow you to have some downtime. The key is to manage your time well, so that you’re not overwhelmed. Reward systems can be implemented at home as well.
Ever had stacks of papers on your desk or a basket full of laundry that you just didn’t have time to sort? Get organized. File those papers away in folders during your break at work. Use small increments of time to make things happen! Purchase a small filing cabinet along with file folders for home usage. This helps with de-cluttering around the home. In between breaks while you are watching your favourite television show, get some filing done or sort the laundry!
Use your smart phone or tablet computer as your personal assistant. Navigate through the markets available on your device. Most offer applications that are free that notify you when you have meetings and other daily tasks to complete. You can set personal goals, check on the calories that you burn by walking, create a ‘to do’ list and so much more by just taking the time to download a few apps!
Managing our time successfully helps us to be at our best professionally and otherwise. Eliminate unnecessary stressful situations by getting rid of procrastination, using technology to manage tasks and simply delegating duties to others. There are so many tools at our disposal, it’s about time we started to use them more!
By PreSha Barnes