Are you stressed at work? Do you need to decrease your stress level? As teachers we often take our jobs home with us which means we don’t get time away from the classroom. When we take our work home we lose out on time with our families and most importantly with ourselves. My recommendation would be to leave all of your “to do’s” at work, in the classroom. I promise you that whatever you have to do it will be there tomorrow, because we know a teachers job is never done. Although this saying may feel like it is true, our mindset around it makes it even more true. Therefore, we need to learn how to shut it off and make it done-at least for the night. I understand that it may be challenging, especially if we have made it a part of our routine. I struggled with bringing work home the first five years of my teaching career and have only mastered this concept in the past couple of years. Here are some things that I have done to minimize the amount of work I bring home.
Utilize your planning time
Whether you’re planning time is at the same time every day or changes depending on the day, you know when your plans are. Some districts give their teachers one plan each day and some get more than one. The time that you have for your plans need to be spent planning, copying and grading. Do not get caught up having conversations at the copier, having unplanned meetings and wasting your time doing things that don’t pertain to work. We all have done it before, maybe more than once, but the point is we only have a short amount of time and a lot of work to do. Spend your plan hour getting the task done!
Make a weekly schedule and stick to it
Like I stressed before, you know when your plans are each week because they are scheduled. Therefore, it would be a good idea to put yourself on a schedule. Devote each day to getting one big task done. With the time left, tackle some of the small tasks, like cleaning. Utilize Mondays for gathering materials that will be needed for the rest of the week. This will free up the rest of your plans for the week and you can dedicate Tuesdays and Thursday’s for grading. It is possible to get one big task done each day in order to set yourself up for success.
Stay late or come in early one day out of the week
Let’s be honest, teacher schedules often get jammed and things don’t work out as planned. If this is the case, then give yourself permission to come into work early one day out the week or stay late one day out the week. The idea I am stressing here is that it should only be ONE day! Do not come in early every day and stay late every day, I promise you will feel the teacher “burn out” quick. You will be no good for yourself or your students. You want to love your job, not hate it. So spend your time wisely so you can feel good about leaving your classroom each day. Dedicate only one day out of the week where you will work over your clock hours.
Top 3 “To Do’s”
As teachers, we have so much to do and little time to do it! Do not jam your “to do” list with unrealistic task for the day. Create a master tasks list at the beginning of the week. Once you have your list, break the tasks down each day into three priorities by picking one big task that you can do each day and then two small tasks that will follow. For example, dedicate Mondays to copying and that will be your top priority. While you are at the copier, your next two tasks can be planning for your following week or grading some papers real quick. The point is that you need to make a realistic “to do” list without jam packing it with things you know you won’t get to that day. You want to go home and feel accomplished- not defeated.
Let’s be honest, every day is different. We are only human so maybe that schedule you made for your weekly “to do” didn’t work to your advantage this week. Maybe something else came up (as it usually does) and you weren’t able to make it work that particular day. As long as you have your top three done that is all that matters. Sometimes you might just have to leave it, whatever it is, it will be there the next day. It wasn’t on your top three so it is not deir. Just leave it! I promise you it is better to leave the worrying and stress at work rather than bringing it home.
What are you going to do TODAY to decrease your stress level at work? What tips do you think will be helpful to you? If you found this information interesting then share it with a friend or your colleagues! Comment below and let us know how you intend to improve your work life. We would love to hear from you!
Decrease your stress Levels, Zealous Zsnel