The new year is upon us and I’m sharing with you one of my go to strategies for staying on task! This time of year is a great time to create a mind map of what you need to accomplish in each day, week, and month so that you are prepared for that time and also for the unexpected.
First of all, what is a mind map? It’s a map of all the things that I do in a given day, week, and month mapped out so I can see it and refer back to it daily. This is a great tool for those days that are crazy or hectic.
It helps you to come back to the givens that need to happen no matter what.
It is great to have on hand in those instances that you are sick for a week and want a sub to be able to pick up where you left off. Also, it’s a great tool for a grade partner if you have one.
These are your constants in your day that don’t change. It is a working document, so I will revise mine as needed, but once you get the idea, you will be able to add or subtract what is needed with ease.
I also find that since using this tool, I am very effective at work and rarely bring things home on the weekends. This means more time to relax and time with my own family.
So you’re now probably wondering how do I start this? What do I need?
My first piece of advice is to give yourself time. I would recommend 30-60 minutes straight of brainstorming and writing out what your non negotiables are for each day, week, and month. I’ll give you an example below of how I do this. You can map this out on blank paper and laminate it or put it right in your most used notebook. The key is that you see it every day and consider it a resource.
This is how I lay out my map and what I add to mine. Yours will look different but this is a great way to see it in action.
Daily items: (I separate these into AM and PM) Here is an example of my daily items.
AM: turn on the lights, check emails, get office folder ready, check behavior cards, 43 folders
PM: check emails, check jobs, check behavior cards and give rewards, clear desk, clean out my inbox of papers (these are those papers I compile through the day that need to be gone through), check grades in order to plan for individual student instruction the following day, turn out the lights
Weekly items: make sure my inbox is on 0, planning, pull materials, make copies, enter grades
Monthly: newsletter, go over faculty calendar and plan the next month, go through curriculum maps (map out by lesson and have clear snapshot of the unit I’m teaching)
You can also plan out for the week by day, ex:
W- Content planning
F- get materials ready
My favorite benefit of implementing this strategy is that I am able to go home at the end of each week with no extra work and no stress! It’s also so helpful for those crazy days when you feel discombobulated. It always brings me back to the basics when I’m flustered and not sure what to do next.
Some more notes on using this method.
Be consistent. This is a new habit and you need to use it daily to see the benefits.
Keep it where you can see it. I put mine in my lesson book. You can also laminate it and check things off as you go. Just make sure you utilize it in a way that you can be consistent.
Use it every day. Once you get into the habit, it will be second nature.
I can’t wait to hear how this helps you! You’re going to be so happy with how productive and focused you are!
Want a visual of me putting this in action? Watch this video of me doing a mind map! If you want to see how I use the 43 folder system, you can watch this video. Make sure to subscribe to my channel so you never miss a video!