Unstick Yourself: First the What, Then the When

Jan 19, 2016

Inevitably, at some point toward the end of a Together Teacher workshop, when it is time to actually sit down and map out priorities, To-Do’s, and timed appointments for the following week, people hit a wall. They feel completely stuck and overloaded, torn between templates and planners. This will likely happen to you at some point as well when you switch systems, miss a Meeting with Myself, or start in a new role.

The best method I’ve seen for getting unstuck is to do a brain dump of everything you must and want to do. Here’s an example from a recent workshop. I told the teacher, “Empty your brain on this index card.”

You will see the mix of personal (Pay Xfinity), professional (create binder for weekly meeting), small (email about pencil sharpener), and large (write lesson plans).

A brain dump of the WHAT is a great start, but how do you know if you have time to do all this? When can you accomplish it? What does your  energy level need to be? Where do you need to be located?

The next step is to introduce some WHEN into the equation. Here are several options:

  1. Enter the whats into a commercial planner in the weekly view.
  2. Create or modify one of my templates that have room for both what AND when.
  3. Insert the various whats into time slots in a digital calendar.

A list is a good first step to getting unstuck, but you’ll need more to get you through a busy week of teaching. How are you bringing the WHEN into your planning process?

PS – The battle between your calendar & to-do list: Part 1 & Part 2