Time is an elusive concept. How many times have you heard that? And how little does it help!?! Instead of pointing out the obvious about time being fixed and we all have the same amount, I am going to focus on a strategy that helps you enhance your productivity and really take a look at where your time goes.
Even the busiest people will have some give in their schedule, it is just a case of finding where the inefficiencies lie and what parts can be cut out or streamlined.
This is a super simple technique and nothing new. But if you haven’t done it for a while, or have never tried it, now is the time.
Try and pick an average day, one where you are teaching if that is when you would like to find more time. The aim is to jot down what you are doing every 15 minutes. Before you shout how much time this will take, it is worth it. Sometimes it will be retrospective, especially if you are in class for a set period of time. But it is the two hours in the morning, the 20 minute break, the 10 minutes before picking up your kids or talking the dog for a walk. These are the slots we want to know about. What are you doing, when? Jot it down and then you can reflect.
Look back over your day. The reason you jot down your movements every 15 minutes is because when we are busy it can feel like there is no space to fit anything else in. But quite often we have 10 minutes before the next thing happens but we waste it. It’s not for me to say what you do with it or what would be construed as wasting 10 minutes. But you will know this when you look through. If 10 minutes looking at Facebook before a lesson is what you need then it is not wasted. But if you keep saying you’d like to give meditation a go but don’t have time, could these 10 minutes be put to another use?
Try it. Jot down on a scrap of paper or in your phone exactly what you do every 15 minutes for a whole day. And then see what you could streamline or perhaps cut out.
Clare Martin is a the founder of the Positive Teacher Network who specialises in helping teachers to find the ultimate Work Life Balance and supports them with many of the difficulties teachers face today.
The Positive Teacher Network provides practical tips and strategies to busy, tired teachers to help them improve their lives allowing them to focus on being great teachers.