Time is a teacher’s fortune.
As soon as you arise, you seem to be racing against the clock. From creating lesson plans to teaching classes to tracking student’s progress to attending to your personal needs, teachers have a seemingly never-ending list of tasks.
With such a hectic daily grind, you probably hope that there’s more than 24 hours in a day.
Considering this reality, a major challenge to educators is how to maximize every minute of their day. Learning how to boost productivity and efficiency is crucial.
Below we take a look at seven productivity hacks to be a successful educator.
Always plan your day
Before you start your day, make sure you have already planned out what to do. Time management is a critical skill necessary to be a successful teacher. The good news is that there are best planners for teachers to help make you more productive and efficient. These planners have spreads that are specifically designed to organize your daily schedule. By writing down every tasks, to-do’s, meetings, classes, and other important notes, you are more likely to accomplish them on time.
Even when you use a planner, it can get messy with all the notes and entries you put into it. Use of color-coded pens is recommended to make your planner easy to use. You can choose from this list of great pens for writing.
Don’t be a perfectionist
While we always aim for the best, perfectionism has no room in the world of teaching. There are a lot of challenges that teachers confront on a daily basis. With so much to do, one just doesn’t have the luxury of time to complete everything perfectly.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It’s okay not to complete tasks perfectly. What’s important is the learning and pedagogy behind the activities and learning resources. If you’re starting to overanalyze tasks and trying to perfect it, just tell yourself to STOP and move on to other more important agenda.
When used properly and carefully, technology can surely make teaching easier. There’s a multitude of tech options to help boost your productivity. Aside from computers, educators can harness the power of smartphones and mobile gadgets that enable them to work remotely.
There are also online lesson planning sites that come with templates that you can customize to suit your needs. Numerous forums, social networking groups, and apps provide an avenue where educators can learn best practices, share resources, and get advice.
Maintain a clean desk
Although technology is incredibly useful for teachers, many tasks are still paperwork. Most of the time, you waste hours looking for something buried in a pile of papers. As such, keep your desk clean. Don’t let things pile up on your desk.
Organize your stuff by using an inbox/outbox systems for items in your desk. Label your shelves properly to make it easier to look for papers. Make it a habit to clean up and organize your desk every day. Store away items you don’t regularly use or need to avoid things from piling up.
Improve on the work of others
The beauty of teaching nowadays is that there are numerous resources available to teachers. And you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.
There’s a good chance that someone has already taught a lesson very similar to the one you have. You can refer to their works and use them in your class. It could save you time which you can devote for equally important pursuits and tasks.
Say no to procrastination
What you can do now, do it! This should be every teacher’s motto. Procrastination is a major time-waster and big no-no to teachers. Time is crucial and it’s important to always take action immediately. Setting objectives and timelines can help avoid procrastination.
Stick with your plans and stay committed to your goals. You are more productive if you complete tasks right away. This also prevents you from resorting to cramming, which almost always end up with a less-than-excellent output.
The teaching profession attracts individuals who are naturally helpful. Admit it; you tend to go out of your way to help others, especially your students. Aside from that, you are also likely to volunteer in many different commitments to a point that it negatively impacts your life.
Spreading yourself thin and attempting to do too much can overburden you – and even lead to burnout. Realize the fact that we have our own limitations. As such, you should learn how to say ‘no’ and avoid over-committing.
Get enough rest
This one is in relation to the previous tip. Teachers are probably the busiest people. You have so much in your plate that they don’t have enough time for rest and recreation. Stress is part of our profession and we need to learn how to de-stress and deal with it properly. Studies show that people who are overworked and stressed out are unable to perform at their peak levels. This makes it important to get enough rest. A well-rested brain and body enables you learn new skills.