Saturday, February 8, 2014

Week 2 - where most good intentions for the year disappear!

Week 2 is tough. The school is back into routine swing. Teachers are time committed to their teaching loads. Its hard to resist the pull of routine, slipping back into the habits of last year is all too tempting. But as they say - if you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you've always got. And then there are occurrences external to daily operation that threaten to completely upset the balance of work flow (but in one particular case we have prioritised the external occurrence as more important than daily workflow - maybe more on this at a much later date). So focus on the operational items I am intent on improving has to be paramount. How do I achieve this?

  1. Use the office walls - I place reminders on my office wall above my desk. They are in my line of sight when working at the desk. Anyone who walks into my office can see them. In fact I enjoy it when students ask me about them and I can explain my intent.
  2. Evernote - despite Evernote being blocked / filtered at my worksite, I use the software on my work laptop, work iPad and personal phone. I have a note called !Today which lists the jobs I need to complete today. I have learnt from last year, this list has one job for each spare lesson I have during the day (spare lesson = I don't teach a class). If I give myself too many jobs, then I am destined for failure. Its a fact of my job that there will be constant interruptions and "you need to do this now" delegations from above. Interestingly Wednesdays have become refreshing for me as my !Today list has no items as I teach all day.

    The !Today note has the focus targets presented above the task list.
  3. Sticky notes on my Windows desktop - the work computer is always on. If I am working away from my desk (like those times I need to hide to get work done) then the reminders are with me. This is currently my least successful method as I am also using my desktop as a dumping ground. Files are placed there until I can process / sort them. I have not yet actually added file processing / storage as a task in !Today but clearly I need to.
As I reflect at the end of week 2, I believe there are a couple of recurring tasks I need to add to !Today. Inbox zero - I used to be good at this, but lately I have been slack. Currently there are 30 emails sitting in my inbox waiting for me to do something about. Process - as mentioned above. Thanks - one of my personal goals (I will blog about this another time).

How do I determine what goes on the !Today note? I have another note titled Job List which holds all pending jobs. I separate this into sections based on my life responsibilities. Each day I rename !Today to the date, then move it from my !Actions notebook to !Completed. I create a new !Today note. Any leftover tasks are added first, then I determine priority from the Job List. This takes a bit of management, but more than once I have found it useful to direct certain people's attention to the Job List and !Today as an explanation of why I may not be undertaking their priority job at that time :).

Now I just need to find a way to manage the seemingly growing list of meeting I am required to attend as part of my role. Unfortunately I perceive most of them as an inefficient use of my time and they actually make achieving job lists more difficult.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gee I hope I don't become one of those powers above that cause the inefficient use of time :) Guess who