Being productive isn’t about being the most organised or disciplined person. It’s about making small lifestyle changes. With the new school year about to start, here are three things you can do to stop yourself from being overwhelmed and exhausted by week six.
1. Be realistic about how much you can actually do each day.
One of the easiest ways to stop yourself from getting tired and overwhelmed is to reduce the amount of things you are trying to do each day. If your To Do list makes you say "ugh", it’s time to reduce that list and the guilt that goes with cutting things that don’t really have to be done.
Start by prioritising what you have to do and focus on getting the important things done. You should also practice saying no to things you simply don't have time for. Every staffroom has someone trying to shirk their responsibilities off onto someone else. For your own sanity, learn to say no to these people and prioritise your work first.
2. Start with a fresh slate every single day
It’s easy to just leave a file where you downloaded it on your desktop, or create a new pile on your desk… but by the end of the term how much time will you have wasted because you didn’t take a minute to properly file or put away items?
Stop your to do list, your desk, and your life from getting flooded by doing the little things every single day. When you download a file, take the time to save it properly into your filing system. Alternatively, make time at the end of everyday to do a quick tidy up. These little jobs will mean you start each day with a clean slate and no overwhelming reminder of all the things you have to do.
3. Make the decision to make fewer decisions
As the marking piles up it’s easy to be flattened by fatigue. Instead of accepting the fact you’ll be living on copious cups of coffee and dark chocolate by the end of the term, try implementing habits this year to make your life easier.
One way to make your life easier is to cut out the number of decisions you have to make every day. As a teacher, you are constantly making decisions on a minute by minute basis. You may not be able to simplify the decisions you make while on playground duty, but you can cut the number of things you have to think about in your own life.
You can simplify your life by:
- implementing a morning routine that covers all the things you want to do.
- adopt a work uniform. If you wear a version of the same thing every day, there’s one less decision to make each morning. This strategy was adopted by Steve Jobs, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerburg, but you don’t have to wear a black turtleneck, a blue suit or a gray t-shirt each day to make this work. The trend has been picked up by the fashion world and while it may take a bit of time to find what works for you, when you find it, buy it in bulk!
- Use your Sunday to meal prep. It’s become the habit of gym-junkies but cooking up a big batch of something you can just grab to eat will save you from deciding what to eat, not to mention the time to prepare it.
Tell us, what do you do to stop yourself from burning out each term?