Whether you’re teaching in a classroom, teaching your child at home, or even just supporting your child as they attend school somewhere else, it’s easy to feel like there’s never enough time, right?

There’s always waaaaay more that needs to be done than you actually have time to do, whether it’s covering lesson material, marking past work or even just doing the laundry while your child completes an assignment! And, even if you feel motivated like an olypian, spectactularly prepared, and phenemenally equipped for the task, there’s no guarantee that your child is going to be on the same page on any given day!

One of the problems is that when there’s always so much to do, we tend to judge our effectiveness by what we didn’t get done, rather than what we did. However, I’ve learned that devloping the ability to judge our productivity by what we actually do rather than by what you don’t do on any given day is an essential principle for success.

The question is, how do we do it? The answer is that we make a list. Simple, right? Well, yes, but not just any list. Make a list that’s divided into three categories:

  1. Urgent items sorted in order of priority
  2. Important items that should get done today but aren’t urgent, also sorted in order of priority
  3. Less important items that are on your mind but which don’t really need to get done today

Then, check off each item as you complete it in order of priority. The purpose of the urgent items is to keep your head above water. The purpose of the important items is to help you stay ahead of the game, and feel like you’re actually moving forward. The purpose of the less important items is mainly to ease the mental load of everything else that’s weighing on you. In other words, it’s a sanity tactic!

At the end of the day, keep the list. Put it in a binder that’s dedicated for keeping past lists, and keep your lists sorted by date. Then, when you start to experience that old familiar feeling that you’re drowning in the sea of life, pull out that binder and just take 30 seconds to flip through it. Look at all the stuff you’ve done over the past few days, weeks, or even months.

You’re own record-keeping will show you that you do have what it takes to succeed. You do have what it takes to do more than just keep your head above water; you can thrive in the midst of the chaos.

Many blessings! Pat MacGibbon