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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Organization & Time Management: The List

I would be a great procrastinator ... of I could ever get around to it.  I need to be grading papers.  Instead I have cooked a few meals for this week, done a load of dishes, started laundry, perused Facebook and Pinterest for entirely too long, and now I am writing a blog post (instead of baking cookies).

So let's focus on what I should be doing.  



To Do Lists

I make lists.  I try to limit my lists to yellow notepads ... so that I can find the list when my desk starts piling up.  Sometimes I don't take my own advice and my list scatters to my board, my hand, random post-it's (never to be seen again), but I accomplish a lot more when I take my own advice.  One of the books I read referred to this as a master list.  (It has been at least five years since I read it - way too long for me for me to remember the title.)



I prioritize my list by numbering the tasks or assigning them days.  I mark which items my student aide can do.  

I try to make my tasks very specific so I get the joy of marking things off.

I believe ADD is contagious.  I have caught it from my students.  It is rare that I get to start and finish almost any task without being interrupted.  So how does my list help? When I am working on one task and start thinking of other tasks I need to do, I add them to a list, sometimes I even have a "google it" box on my list.

Delegation

As I said I have my student aide do some tasks.  I read recently that if someone else can you a task 80% as well as you can, delegate it.  (This also applied to having your hubby fold the clothes.)

Acceptance

I have long ago realized that I can't do it all.  I have a lot of things I want to do: developing more student-based projects, reorganizing and thinning out my computer files, clearing out the supply room ... the list goes on and on.  

I recently read an article of advice to first year teachers.  And the thing that stuck with me, is that teachers have to accept that they will have to accept that they can't finish everything they want.  You could work 36 hours per 24 hours and there would still be something that didn't get done.

Done is also better than perfect.  I know I always talk about this whe I all about flipped classrooms because I am never satisfied with my videos, but I talk to my kids about this too.  Any project can take any amount of time depending I the level of work you expect. Sometimes you just have to get it done. 

On that note I guess I should get to the task at hand ... adding to that to-do list!

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