A sticky note is a universal staple for every teacher I have ever met.
Most teachers have at least one stack of sticky notes, if not a full organization system for the assorted sizes, shapes, and colors they come in.
Chances are you are within arms reach of a sticky note right now.
Let’s put that sticky note to work for you today.
Pick one that makes you happy.
Grab your favorite pen.
Write down 3-things that MUST be taken care of today.
No other details. You already know the details.
Now, add one more thing you’d like to be able to do, if you can.
That is, it.
Today, this is what you can control.
This is a realistic limit for the tasks you will prioritize.
Stay laser focused on your top 3-things.
Feel the satisfaction of accomplishing these items. Then, take that momentum forward to the fourth item, the optional one.
It is possible to walk away from your day as a teacher with a sense of accomplishment rather than a sense of overwhelm, especially if you adjust your expectations for what you need to accomplish in a day.
It’s easily possible to work a 60, 70, or even an 80-hour week as a teacher. Not that you should ever do that! Just that it is possible if you do not take control of your day.
The to-do lists are unending, and additional responsibilities are assigned to you constantly.
This sense of overwhelm can become paralyzing, and you might not even reach a point where you are treading water, but remain drowning in it all.
On the other hand, this sticky note might be a life raft for you. A sense of “I can do these things” amidst the rising tide of other seemingly important tasks.
Are those other pressing tasks important? Yes. But they can’t all fit on the sticky note.
This might feel a little reductive.
I am not suggesting that writing a few tasks on a sticky note will solve your problems, take away the workload, or make all your other tasks suddenly disappear.
I am suggesting that by limiting the most urgent tasks to one sticky note, you can focus on what is attainable, here and now.
At the end of the day, you can only do what you can do.
And what you can do is simply what you put on that sticky note.