I write this to say that I am not a guru for organization and being effective- I am far from it. I am trying to work on my work- life balance, and this is what has worked for me so far. Throughout the year, I haven’t felt too off balance. But around the fall, I started getting migraines, and I realized that I was more off balanced than I realized. It also forced me to take some time for myself to go to some doctor appointments- which is always challenging for a teacher! Throughout the year, I have made a few changes, and I hope to channel even more changes throughout this year.
First, I started using more Yoga with Adriene videos again. I love using them because there are some videos that are under 10 minutes and some that are up to 30-40 minutes if I have more time. It allows me to adjust it to my schedule. Also, I can change based on how I feel- tired, motivated or energized.
I also wanted to drink more water. I can never remember to carry around a water bottle or a cup. However, I can remember to put it by my sink in my bathroom. This has allowed me to drink more water at the beginning and end of day. I have also read that I should add some cucumber, mint or lemon to help me drink more water. Consider that on the to do list for 2018! I am still not where I want to be, but I am definitely improving.
For this year (2018), I am using timers to become more effective during my down time. As I have said before, I am not the most organized as far as my desk goes. I will make checklists which help me, but pretty much, I prioritize what I NEED to do. Things like organize my desk keep getting added to the list on the following day. I have decided to add a few minutes to my routine before and after school to help with this. Since I don’t have too much time before school (and I am mostly making copies and getting coffee #priorities), I am going to set an alarm for 5 minutes to straighten my desk. Then in the afternoon after teaching, when I don’t have the brain capacity to plan, I will set an alarm for 10 minutes to organize. It seems like such a small amount of time, but my first attempt was successful. I had a two hour delay, so I organized for 10 minutes, and my desk was pretty much good to go! Then at the end of the day, I recycled any papers that I didn’t need- and voila.
I also plan on trying this to keep up with my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I have had some ideas that I want to develop, but it seems overwhelming to start something in addition to everything else. During my planning time, I can set a timer for 5 minutes to work on it. After doing this for awhile, I am getting close to finishing another journal prompts list. The timer also helps keep me inspired instead of trying to look for creativity.
I have also noticed that when I start accomplishing things, I have a lot of momentum. My husband notices that I am in the zone. In addition to trying to accomplish more, I am writing down my to do list each night. Between setting timers and using lists, it also helps me sleep more most nights (except when I am in the middle of a book!)
Although I feel like sometimes I am too connected to my phone, I try to keep my ringer off. This started based on practicality because I wouldn’t remember to turn it off when I was in class. Now, I typically keep my sound off. This allows me to ignore my phone much easier. Many times, if I can hear my phone, I will automatically look at it. When the sound is off, I don’t constantly pick it up.
I hope that some of my tips will help you- and it gives me some more accountability by actually writing it out! How do you become more effective throughout the day?