How My To-Do List Has Helped Me Thrive In and Out of School

It’s a ritual that has helped me prioritize my tasks and protect my time.

Courtesy of Alexxndr / Shutterstock
Courtesy of Alexxndr / Shutterstock

When I start to feel overwhelmed or burned out, I make a list for myself of “Must-Do’s.”  These are items that have a high priority to be done. Checking those high priority items off my list tends to decrease my stress level. My students are always coloring me pictures or writing me letters, so I keep those items on my classroom walls, on my desks, as well as framed pictures of my students because they are the reason I am doing what I am doing. I remember all of their hugs or ask for one if I need it!

One routine I have adopted to keep myself at my best is taking one hour a day to work out. It forces me to think about the task at hand and puts my job and school work out of my brain for an hour a day.

The one practice that keeps my To-Do List in check is using my email inbox as a To-Do List. Doesn’t that sound funny? Well, I check my email every day. If an email requires me to-do something, it stays in my inbox until it is complete. If the email is informing me of something, I move it to the correct folder and file it away until I need it. This keeps my email clutter free and puts high priority items at my fingertips.

The advice I would have loved to have been given when I started teaching is to “not to sweat the small stuff, and learn to let the little things go”! When I first started, it was hard for me to let even the smallest things go, like separating Scholastic Book Club Flyers or cutting out laminated items. Find a parent that you trust and ask them to do those little things for you! The little things all add up to a giant To-Do List! 

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