The “small stuff” is often the glue that holds everything else together. Setting a time to complete all these seemingly unimportant tasks helped keep my mind focused on my kids while at school or my family while at home. Once I had sat down and planned out what I would do and when I could go about my day without the fear of forgetting any of the details. It was such a great way to take some stress off of me. And I’m not going to lie – I’m a sucker for crossing off future tasks when I get enough time to jump ahead! Ha! Having this planned out gave my crazy Type A self some extra motivation to be super productive with my time.
The Small Stuff
The first thing I liked to do was really think about what “small” tasks had highest priority and list them on paper. I. Love. Lists. So much so that I can’t wait to get around to my post about lists and how they are SUCH life savers! In this case, I listed my top 5-10 must-do tasks. They included grading papers, returning e-mails, planning specific subjects, organizing copies, etc. These were things that had to be done no matter what, and would really help me out if they were completed a week in advance. That meant things like creating new activities, reorganizing stations storage, rearranging desks, etc. were NOT included in this list. Class could go on if they weren’t done right away, so they were saved for when I (miraculously) had some “extra” time.
Once I had decided what must get taken care of, I made a weekly schedule. (Click the picture below to get this FREEBIE in my TPT store!) My schedule included all “free” time I had during the day. For me I liked to include my lunch break, planning period and after school. Pretending I would get to school early enough to do anything before the kids came was just not even worth it. I was the WORST! Having 5-10 tasks and 15 time slots meant that I could usually plan everything outside of my lunch break. But if I had to use it, I knew lunchtime was available.
I can’t tell you how much this schedule helped me! Every week I would print it out with my lesson plans and write down all the things I wanted to get taken care of. Having them on paper and out of my head was such a relief. I would tweak as needed without losing track of anything. In a career with tons of clerical and organizational “extras” to do, this kept me sane. I hope that it does the same for you!