How would you feel if you are more productive as a teacher and feel less overwhelmed at the same time?
The question? What is most important and beneficial for you to do today before you move on to doing anything else?
The One Powerful Tip to Transform Your Teaching Forever
Focus on one task a day. That’s it! Think about the most important thing that needs to be done TODAY and start there.
You may have been expecting a long, involved and expensive way in which you can become an effective and focused teacher. However, it really only comes down to managing priorities and staying organized.
To avoid all that, try to focus your time and energy on accomplishing one task per day. You will see that in time, you will start accomplishing so much more if you start thinking this way. It may seem easier said than done but once you create this habit you will find yourself completing more throughout the day and able to better schedule your time to complete everything you need to do.
Here are some tips for getting started:
Control your time!
Your time is your own and you choose how to use it. If you are facing a large project, divide your task into smaller parts. If you are beginning to create your next lesson plan, try not to look at the task as a whole. You can break it down day-by-day and work on Monday’s plan and then Tuesday’s plan. Or you can consider what crafts you want your students to complete throughout the week and organize your materials. Sometimes looking at the big picture can be overwhelming.
Also learn to say “no” – avoid spreading yourself too thin. If you cannot dedicate time to additional tasks and projects, do not commit to them. Teachers are natural helpers and it can be difficult to turn down the opportunity to help when it is needed.
Take advantage of your down time to work on what needs to be completed. Even having five minutes to grade one paper will keep you ahead then if you ignore these opportunities.
Keeping track of what you need to accomplish and organizing your work space will make a huge difference in maintaining focus on one thing at a time. Keep your desk clean, invest in an organizer for notes and ideas and make lists of tasks that need to be completed.
Related Reading: 3 Amazing Hacks to Stay Organized as a Teacher
Do the most important thing first!
Prioritize your responsibilities and attend to those that need to be completed first. For example, if you need to write parent notes by Friday and have papers graded by Thursday, focus on grading and put the notes to the side. Don’t allow the tasks that you have more time to complete to distract you from what is due the soonest.
Managing time and stress is not necessarily about clearing off your plate – it’s about learning to manage priorities slowly until everything is organized and efficient. It is also a habit that needs to be practiced and learned.
Continue to focus on one task a day and you will be amazed how quickly you are able to handle all the expectations that come with being a teacher.
Why do I have a page exclusive to avoiding teacher stress and burnout on this blog? Because I am one of these overwhelmed teachers…I’ve learned my lessons the hard way.
At the moment I work at three different locations. Most full time music positions in my district are divided between different schools. So I teach 4 classes in a middle school in the mornings. I teach high school classes in the afternoon. On Fridays when I am most tired, I rush to the University of New Mexico where I am a pedagogy coordinator. That makes life interesting
I have noticed that when I have too much on my plate, I simply end up doing nothing. The stress of having too much prevents me from, well starting. However, when I just think I about ONE thing that is most important to start with that day, everything else seems to fall into place.
Want to get more inspired?
As teachers, don’t we all have to accomplish extraordinary results with very little? So here is a book that has made a difference for me to make sense of this one tip to avoid teacher stress and burnout. Have a Spring Break or a weekend coming up when you can afford to curl up and read a book for yourself instead of running around? Try this one for sure: