It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached those last few weeks of school. We have about four more to go at this point. I don’t know about you, but at this time of the year our schedules begin to become more daily than weekly. Each day is filled with excitement, schedule changes, special programs, or all of the above.
It can be hard to keep a fresh mindset and not come down with your own version of “Springitis” just like your students. Some years I get to those last couple of weeks and can’t believe how much I still need to do to clean up my room.
Well, this year, I’m trying something different to make those looming tasks more manageable. This year I’m taking the “15 Minutes A Day Challenge”!
What is the 15 Minutes A Day Challenge? That’s a great question! So many things we need to do are really projects rather than tasks. So, when we look at more than one project at a time, we can become more and more overwhelmed. I know I can. If, though, we take each of those projects and look at them in fifteen-minute increments, they suddenly become more manageable.
Here’s an example. Filing can become my nemesis! The flow of the day just keeps pushing forward and getting to my filing can go farther and farther down my priority list. Especially at this time of year when there are so many additional administrative tasks that need my attention. I’ll glance over at the basket on my desk and just sigh. Well… that’s what I usually do. But now I’ve taken the “15 Minutes a Day Challenge”! So during my prep, or at lunch, or after school (depending on my schedule that day) I’ll set my timer and tell myself I’m only going to spend fifteen minutes working on filing that basket of papers. Interestingly, a few very positive things happen as a result. Obviously the pile starts to go down, which in turn helps me feel more organized. The added bonus, though, is the energy it gives me for getting to a task I had been avoiding. So when I’m energized I’ll usually stick with the task longer (if my schedule allows) and get even further along.
I think we’ve all found that if we buckle down with a project, once we get some momentum, we can keep moving. If we tell ourselves that we are just going to spend fifteen minutes (rather than thinking we have to block out two hours) on something, we can be very focused and put a big dent into daunting tasks.
So let’s make a list. What are the big projects that you have to do before the end of the school year? I know, I know, there is a ton! Just write it down. Now what would happen if you took one of those projects like…I don’t know….filing!!….and broke it down into fifteen minute slots across a week? Fifteen minutes a day for five days adds up to an hour and fifteen minutes in a work week. If you spent that much time with your filing in a week, image how that basket on your desk would look by Friday??!
If you need a little help making a list or planning out your year-end projects, I’ve attached a copy of “My Project Organizer”. This is something I’ve used myself and also used with my students at times. I hope you find it helpful.
So are you ready to take the “15 Minutes a Day Challenge” with me? Let’s finish this year strong!
Download your free project organizer.