The holidays are upon us and with that comes a lot to do! I don’t know about you, but I find myself budgeting my time to this or that and then, still never getting it all done. Well here are a few tips that might help, from the workshop I train, “So Much to Do, So Little Time”.
The single most important way to stay on track is to organize!
This is what my desk looks like when I come in and when I leave. Everything has a place and nothing is left out. If I didn’t get something on the list finished, it goes into the “tickle folder” for the next day.
What is a “tickle folder” you ask? It is an organizing system that is called by many names – tickle folder, come-up files, daily to do folder….
It is 31 file folders with the numbers 1 through 31 written on the tabs. You have one for every day of the month. I keep them in a desk drawer and put projects in them to stay on track. If it’s due on the 15th, I’ll put it in the 13th to make sure it gets done (just make sure it isn’t a weekend day unless you plan on working!). I pull the folder for that day each morning, empty the contents, and then put the empty folder to the back of the drawer.
And then I start the day …
Check those emails first. Print or note anything that requires follow up or research. It will go on the “to do” list. Anything you can answer right then, answer. Delete everything that is finished or is just junk.
Next, get into that in-box. Sort everything. Is it due next week? It goes into that tickle folder for next week. Just get it off your desk. Does it need to be filed? Put it in the stack to be filed. You should have a stack for things to be filed, things that need to be done today, things that are not highest priority. I also sort by the type of project – time sheets, parent contact, lesson plans, etc.
Now, check your phone messages. Write down who to call and why.
Pull that tickle folder for today!
Now take all your piles and either create a to do list (I like the list because it feels good to see so much crossed off at the end of the day. I also have a special book I use for my to do list.
I like pretty things and its fun to use something that is beautiful to you) or stack the items in order of priority. The three things I must have are my tickle folders, a calendar and a book for to do lists.
Now get to work!
OK – it’s the end of the day. Look at that list! Almost everything is crossed off! Now, take the items that did not get done and put them into tomorrows tickle folder. Put away the pens and papers that are all over the desk, pack your bag and go home. I mean, really go home. Leave your work there.
During the holidays we have so much to do and it can be terribly stressful. It’s really important this time of year to leave work at work and enjoy your family. Use your at home time for things that need to be done at home –
And have a wonderful holiday!