Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pre-Holiday Prioritizing

Here we are, friends.... only a few weeks away from holiday break and you're probably beginning to enter each week with swirling thoughts of the HUNDREDS of things to do before you exit the building for the last time in 2015. Don't worry... that's pretty normal!!!  (That's at least what I've been telling myself for the last few weeks as I anxiously await Baby Leiker's arrival and prep for maternity leave!) What's not HEALTHY, however, is letting those swirling thoughts get the best of you and not doing anything about it. While we each have our own way(s) of sorting, organizing, and prioritizing those to-do lists, I wanted to offer up a favorite of mine and/or at least a reminder to actually TAKE THE TIME to sort through what NEEDS to be done and what would be NICE to have done before break begins. (After all... "need" and "want" are two different things!) ;)

Might I offer up the Merrill Covey Time Management Matrix?! If you've never seen or used it before, it goes a little something like this:

Not Urgent

Do It Now

  • Crisis
  • Emergencies
  • Persisting Problems
  • Deadline driven projects, meetings, etc.


  • Provide feedback to students on their project benchmarks/check points from last week!
  •  Entering grades for upcoming report cards
  • Touch base with Community Partners who are on presentation panels for current project!
  • Check in with staff on whole-school end-of-year celebration


Decide When To Do It

  • Exercise
  • Planning
  • True recreation/relaxation


  • Make sure entry event & rubric are aligned for first project of 2016
  • Check-in with team-teacher on your co-teaching contract (let’s get those grades entered first, hmm?)
  • Jump in on the student volleyball game happening in the gym during lunch

Not Important


  • Interactions, some calls
  • Distractions
  • Some mails & reports


  • Finding the perfect Ugly Sweater for the upcoming staff party
  • Run through your choreography for the end-of-semester celebration talent show.
  • Print copies AND upload to echo the resources for workshops this week. (Choose one method for making the info available this time around, eh!? Or have a student leader print what you upload to echo and make copies for you!)

Dump It

  • Trivia Tasks
  • Busy Work
  • Time Wasters
  • “Escape” activities


  • Downloading a “handwriting font” that will make your Entry Document look like it came straight from a community partner.
  • Searching for a clever title for your upcoming project

This particular "planner" helps to identify the purpose and value of your tasks and to minimize or eliminate time-wasters (even though I will never FULLY admit that my time spent on Pinterest is a TOTAL time waster!!!) Just make sure you have a method in place to help you avoid unproductive busy work and to accomplish your goals this time of year in a productive manner. I'd love to know what you've found useful as a time-management system and even more importantly... how do you model for, talk to, and support your student's agency in managing their time well also!?

No need to waste time stressing when you really just need to "do it, decide when to do it, delegate it, or dump it!"

Peace, love, and sweater weather... ,

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