Avoiding Overwhelm

For this Technique Tuesday, I talk about hacking your work life so that your personal life and mental health don’t suffer. I’ll show you how to condition yourself and others to work inside a certain set of parameters/rules that you’ve assembled. This will help you become more effective in the classroom and aid in reducing the stresses often associated with our busy teaching schedules.

These strategies can help you avoid becoming overwhelmed by your professional and personal responsibilities.

  1. Make sure you are on a calendar. Schedule everything including your drive time, class time, lunch time, break time, etc.  Don’t fall off task! It’s easy to fall prey to others who want to steal your time. Use tools such as Google Calendar to assist with this goal.
  2. Theme your days by choosing a particular topic for each day. Monday might be planning, Tuesday could be score study, Wednesday is grading, etc. Plan far in advance so that you can only work on the things designated for that day.
  3. Have a weekly meeting with yourself each Sunday night. Review your calendar and make adjustments as necessary. Make sure all your time is scheduled including that all-important personal time for yourself and with family.
  4. Stay focused while you work
    • Close gmail/Outlook when you’re working. Don’t allow notifications or pop-ups.
    • Limit yourself to checking email only twice a day and let others know that you may not respond for at least 24 hours. Put your phone on silent and place it across the room. Turn off your email notifications. Note: Put your email policies in your handbook or other information you distribute to students/parents so that those reaching out know the parameters and don’t expect quick replies. Provide alternate ways that others may reach you in an emergency.