How to Boost Your Productivity Without Losing Your Sanity

Hey y'all! Ever feel like your plate is so full things are spilling off the sides? And not in the good Thanksgiving dinner kind of way? I know I feel this way more often that I care to admit. But there is hope! When I feel like I can't fit any more into my day, I remember these tips to help bring things back to equilibrium.

1. Make a plan
This is my favorite. I love planners and to do lists. When I get up in the morning, or before I go to bed the day before, I plan out my day. I list out everything that needs to be done and prioritize each task. Do I complete every task every time? Absolutely not. I'd go crazy. But it does help me decide where to focus my time.

2. Prioritize
When you decide what needs your attention the most, it's easier to make a plan of attack. If I know that I need to work on lesson plans, then that becomes my focus. If I know grades are due and I HAVE to tackle that pile of papers that need grading, I jump on that. If I know that I need a morning to myself so that I keep myself together, then that becomes my priority. When you prioritize your tasks, you are able to let some things take a back burner--not forever, just until those things need to be a priority.

3. Schedule your time
Set up your work time. Do you need to get things done before the kids get up or after they go to bed? Do you work better before your husband gets home from work? (I know I do.) Do you only really get things done at school and you just CAN'T bring work home? Whatever your answers, take a realistic assessment of your available time and plan accordingly. I have more work time at school on Thursdays and before school just about everyday (no recess duties then), so I do as much school work as I can on campus then. I know I lesson plan more effectively in the comfort of my own home, so I make sure that's where I plan. Your plan has to work with your schedule so be sure to take that into consideration.

4. Get down to business
Now, you've got your plan, you've prioritized your tasks, it's time to get down to business. Put your phone on silent or in another room. Get your list out and start knocking things out. Marking things off as you complete them helps you feel like you've accomplished something.

But you don't have to do it all. You can let things go. The world won't end if some of the things don't get done. There are perfectly wonderful lessons that don't require your entire weekend to prep. Your students will still learn the material with or without the cute craft. You can do the room transformation or not.

You do what you need to do.

If you need to forgo the over-the-top lesson for a more traditional one, then do it. If you need to practice self-care for the evening, do it.

At any one time, I probably have 3-4 working goals at a time--exercise, TpT, grad school research, and teaching goals are all in the works right now. Oh, and I have teenagers, a husband, and a dog who also need my time.

Yes, it's a lot. And yes, I work my tail off most days. But I also strive to find balance with all the things and taking care of myself. That's why making a plan and sticking to it helps me keep my sanity. Scheduling in downtime is essential, regardless of the length of your to-do list.

So take care of yourself and you'll find your productivity increases as well. You can't pour from an empty cup.

Have a wonderful week and happy planning. I'll talk to you soon.

Stay sweet,