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.
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:
Tell us, what do you do to stop yourself from burning out each term?
In September, Catherine and I will be travelling to Finland as part of a Teacher Professional Development Study Tour. The purpose of the trip is to see how Finland has consistently maintained its position at the top of the PISA scale for education.