Do you feel like you work constantly, but never get anything done? Being a teacher is often wonderful, but all-consuming. The workload is huge and it’s very easy for things to feel like they’re getting too much. But there are things that can be done to manage your time better, boost your efficiency and make life easier. Team Pobble focuses a lot on our productivity. Here are our top tips:
1) Make a plan — Take some time to plan out your day, your week, your term. Putting a clearly structured plan together makes it easier to focus clearly on what needs doing when.
2) Create strong routines — At the beginning of each term make new rituals and set clear rules. Only checking emails at certain times of the day or no work on a weekend.
3) Set blocks of time — Time blocking is a really effective way of being productive. Set timed increments and work in bitesize chunks followed by a short break. Try not to multitask in this time, focus on an individual task and work solidly. For example, 20 minutes of marking followed by a 10-minute break.
4) Don’t reinvent the wheel — review and evaluate what has worked well previously and adapt and reuse. Group plan or find resources and planning that have worked well for others to use in your own teaching. Pobble.com has thousands of teaching ideas.
5) Set realistic goals — Write them down. Writing down your to-do list gives you clear objectives to focus on. There are some great ideas for organising your tasks here.
6) Minimise distractions — When it’s marking or planning time, you’ll get more done, and faster if you limit potential distractions. Turning off notifications on devices, telling others you need to focus for a while and finding a calm and healthy space to work will help.
7) Utilise technology — There are heaps of effective tools to help with productivity and organisation. A quick search of your app store will give you lots of options for digital tools. Our personal favourite is Trello.
8) Avoid unnecessary work — Do you really need to cut out and laminate 30 word mats? Or will one between two not laminated do? It’ll save on valuable resources too!
9) Ditch the negativity — If you’re not productive don’t beat yourself up about it, leave it, have a break, do something else and come back when you’re ready to focus. Try to keep a positive outlook and be mindful of your mental health.