Save Time by Prioritizing and Letting Go of Tasks~Time-Saving Tips for Teachers {A Daily Blog Series: Day 5}

Truth: it will never all get done. If you are a teacher you will never EVER be the proud owner of a blank to do list. It simply is not possible. Sure we can chip away at those “in your face” things that have official deadlines like report cards, lesson planning, returning parent emails, etc but the bottom line is there will always be a million and one other teacher-related tasks cluttering your mind. However, by prioritizing your responsibilities and being willing to let go of tasks that aren’t necessary you will have a stronger feeling of accomplishment and be less overwhelmed.

One of the best tips I have for helping teachers organize their classroom is to start by purging anything that does not need to be in the space. Simply put, the less you have the less you have to manage. The same is true for the never ending to do list. 

In my classroom I have had great success helping students manage their assignments with a “Must Do / May Do” Board. The board simply lists the things that are not a choice and need to get done as well as the options for when the “must dos” are completed.

Typically teachers write out a to do list that sequentially lists tasks as they come to mind. Instead try listing the tasks in a 3 column format. In the left column list the items that you must complete (report cards, lessons plans, etc). In the middle column record the things that you should (change a bulletin board, clean out a filing cabinet, etc). In the right column list things you would love to do...IF you had the time.

Writing the list this way will force you to prioritize things right from the start and will make it easier for you to focus on what is most important and perhaps even eliminate some things that just aren’t necessary.

Be kind to yourself and learn to embrace the fact that there will always be something that should get done. The key is determining what needs to gets done immediately and what you can just let go of.

As part of this series I am sharing free resources and printables to complement the tips and ideas shared in these posts. Upon completion, the eBook will be an easy-to-read format that organizes all of the strategies in one place and provides you with printable organizers, labels and more. It is available to download for free on my products page. With each new blog post in the series new pages will be added to the eBook. You can access each new addition by redownloading it.
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