This may seem like another paradoxical statement: plan so you can forget, but it’s so true. There are so many things we juggle as educators that our brain can’t (or shouldn’t) try to keep track of it all. So I have to “plan to forget” toolbox so I can turn my work brain off in the evenings, sleep at night and have balance in my weekend.
When I’m putting in the electronic appointment for the school board presentation, I take a moment to put another appointment in the week before to remind me that it’s coming up and carve out time to prepare. That allows me to forget that the presentation is coming up and rely on my tools to tell me when it’s time to start the preparation work.
Sitting down to start my day, I prioritize three things I need to get done that day. Then below that I add one or two other bonus things I could get done. When I finish that list I say “well done” and start another one. If I don’t get them done I add them to my list the next day. For me, knowing I just need to accomplish three things keeps me from feeling too overwhelmed with my days.
Walking Around with Sticky Notes
When I leave my office to walk down the hallway, I’ll often combine tasks like “OK, I’ll run these copies, stop and ask this coach for a resource and then pick up the envelope I need from the office professional.” As I walk out the door, someone catches me and asks me a question and we make a plan to talk more tomorrow. Then I get down to the workroom, run my copies and return to my office. Oops. I didn’t visit with the coach or pick up the envelope. Now I just travel with a sticky note that reminds me of the things I planned to do while out and about. It seemed a little silly when I started doing it, but it’s helped me use my time more efficiently and if I do forget my next task–I have a tool to back me up.
We all have ways that we plan to forget. Instead of getting frustrated with our full brains, we can build our own supports to have in place.