One element of my life that I knew I needed to change this year was how I use my time.
For a person who is pretty organized, I’m not a good time manager. So I looked closely at how I’d been living my life (which really was mostly just working–either for school or home) and decided I needed some drastic changes. Especially with the musical about to begin rehearsals.
I’m two weeks in to those changes and I think I’ve found a sustainable plan.
First change: do chores during the week instead of saving them up for Saturday. I live in a small space, so it doesn’t take a whole lot to clean. By vacuuming one afternoon and doing laundry after school one night and cleaning floors another, I get to start my weekend with a clean space and the wonderful peace of mind that I can actually relax a little on Saturday.
Second change: daily lesson plans. In 15 years of teaching, I’ve always had entire semesters planned out in a general sense, and every week I made lesson plans for each class. What I realized last semester is that even with my weekly lesson plans, I was tweaking them every day anyway. So for the past two weeks, I spend about 10-15 minutes fine-tuning my lesson plans for the three subjects I teach, and though it goes against everything I’m inclined to do, I’m actually enjoying that approach. Plus, I’m more aware of what I’m teaching each day, since I put it together the day before (instead of a week before).
Third change: grocery shopping on Wednesdays. This was another big shift for me, but so far, so good. Hitting the grocery store on Saturdays is always a pain–not only because of how many people also shop on Saturdays, but because I’d rather be watching a movie or reading a book or doing pretty much anything BUT grocery shopping. If I’m already working on Wednesdays, adding a stop at the grocery store isn’t that difficult. As long as I plan my meals Tuesday night, which is change 3.5.
Like I said, I’m a horrible time manager. I still need to figure out how to squeeze in more trips to the gym, how to not fall behind on grading (yep, already behind on that). But I’m hoping by the end of the month I’ll have found a better balance than what I’ve had in the past.
It can’t hurt to try.