August is here and summer is coming to a close. Nearly all campus leaders are back at work and teachers will soon return as well. One of the most important things to do as you prepare for a new year is to organize your life.
The weekend before I returned after a 2-week vacation, I organized my house and as soon as I returned to work, I organized my office. I realized that after many years in education, I do this each time I return to work after a long vacation… Christmas break and summer break. The reflection also made me realize how much this one act makes me feel ready for the challenges of the months ahead. Not only does de-cluttering help you be prepare for what’s to come, it also can help with time management. If things are well-organized, you’ll save time. Who doesn’t want to gain time back since it seems like we never have enough of it.
Read below for tips on how to organize your life before the school year gets underway.
Clear off those countertops that have become overly cluttered from the hectic lives most of us live. The kitchen counter that accumulates the junk mail. The breakfast table that may accumulate the opened mail that has not found a home. The living room that may have accumulated the throw blankets used for those cozy days/nights on the couch vegging out. The bedroom nightstands that accumulate any and everything. Clear all counters and find homes for everything that seems to be out of place. Designate a home for these things and create a habit to put all things in their places each day.
Clear off all paperwork from visible areas (even those in nice, neat piles!). JAs you are cleaning, place the papers in piles for filing. Make files for each category and file the papers away. Consider getting two bins (in and out bins) for your desk. Designate one for mail that is coming in to you. Make an effort each day to clear out the “in” box and place in the “out” box. Try to minimize paperwork. When people offer to give you documents, ask them to mail you the electronic copy. When you receive it electronically, save it to a file on your computer.
Follow office directions above for your desk. In addition to office de-cluttering, designate a place in your classroom for the following items:
Paula Patterson is a Superintendent of Schools who shares practical points on leadership.