I met Cara at a recent Together Training in DC. She’s an Achievement Coordinator and the mom of an about-to-finish-high-school kid! Cara entered the training as an already very organized thinker, but she had a few challenges with her organizational tool of choice – the ubiquitous whiteboard. Much like Renee and her Digital Stickies, Cara wanted to make her system more portable and more reflective of her time, while still preserving the visual aspects that worked so well for her.
Let’s walk through how she made this happen.
1. The Whiteboard
Cara kept this very organized, color-coded to-do list for the week on her classroom whiteboard. You can see she has a lot going on. . . Senior Testing, Data Reports, Math Department work and Summer School tasks.
We can see how Cara already has three very good habits in place:
- instinct to record her To-Do’s,
- inclination to get her To-Do’s in one clean location, and
- bonus points for categorizing her To-Do’s by type of work!
2. The “Portable Whiteboard” – One Piece of Paper for the Week
Cara brought her “whiteboard” to our workshop, written out on one piece of paper. Cara’s system can now deal with the inevitable ambush in the hallway by a colleague or with a to-do that comes in while on the phone away from the classroom.
But what’s still missing is a strong sense of TIME—will Cara actually have time to do all of these things in any given week???
3. Her Weekly Worksheet – A Reconciliation of Time AND To-Do’s!
Most people start their week with a calendar or a list. But we preach that you need to reconcile both your Time (calendar) and To-Do’s (list) to ensure you have a realistic view of what’s ahead.
Check out what Cara built below. She took a screenshot of her Outlook calendar, and THEN listed her To-Do’s for the week underneath it. Now her system reflects both what she needs to get done and when she can do it.
Cara already had great habits in place. She simply adjusted tools to make her Together Teacher system even stronger! Cara, thank you for sharing with us!