What if I told you it was possible to stop rushing through tasks both in the classroom and at home? You might think I am crazy, but the truth is, it is completely possible to stop rushing and enjoy yourself.
There are so many things that have to be done during a teacher work day that it seems impossible to not rush through tasks. Despite feeling like you are getting more done when you rush through a task you are instead doing a slap together job that is more than likely stressing you out further. I don’t know about you, but more stress is the last thing I need in my life.
You have heard the saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” and this saying is especially pertinent in the classroom. While we have a million and one things to do, it is important that we prioritize what is most important for our students and do what we do well. There have to be some corners that get cut. It just has to happen. The trick is finding items that you can get away without doing while not interfering with your students learning or the completion of your job as a whole.
Stop Rushing and Do a Task Just Once
Ways You Can Stop Rushing and Get More Done
Schedule out your day
-This means that you build in time to complete the necessary tasks and are able to plan ahead. I am a huge fan of to-do lists and use them every day at home and for work. They allow me to see what is coming up and delegate my time in an appropriate fashion. Along these lines, remember that sometimes you have to say no to a new commitment in order to remain sane and on schedule. Check out How to Say No for more information on this.
Cross off impertinent items
-If a task does not affect you or your students directly push it to the side if possible. Prioritize your health and your students, because the truth is everything else can wait.
-When you are making your to-do list for the day only include what has to be done. You will feel a sense of accomplishment as you complete the tasks and will most likely be ready to take on additional tasks that fall lower on the list.
-I am a huge perfectionist. It took a long time to come to terms with the idea that not everything is going to be perfect. When you are able to accept imperfections you can move on and do more. For more information on learning to accept imperfections read here.
-This may sound funny, but I am not kidding. During your planning or before/after school when you are trying to be productive go to your classroom, close the door, and turn out the lights. Pretend you aren’t there and get to work. By doing this you are less likely to be interrupted by a well-meaning coworker.
-When you have a long list of things to do match tasks with similar ones that you can do double duty on. For example, if you need to grade a writing assignment and enter the grades into your online grade book start by alphabetizing your students’ papers then enter the grades directly into the grade book as you score each paper. You save time by not having to transfer grades from one place to another.
Use “extra” time
-You know those extra five minutes you are sitting in a meeting before everyone gets there? Use that precious time to accomplish something. It is the perfect amount of time to do a little grading, make a to-do list, or jot down ideas for a new lesson.
Turn off all distractions
-Picture the scene. You sit down to start grading and your phone rings. You answer it and just as you hang up you get an email. After answering the email you can’t remember what you were doing, to begin with. Sound familiar?
Eliminate your distractions before starting and it will pay off big.
Find your zen
-It is impossible to be productive when you are stressed. At least not as productive as you could be. Take some time to take care of yourself before completing a task. This way you will be more productive and focused.
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