Do you ever find yourself procrastinating by organizing? Well, I find that this type of procrastination can actually increase productivity, if you have a plan in place. Now, isn’t procrastinating a negative concept, you say? Actually, I’m not sure that it is. In fact, when procrastinating turns into an organization binge, it’s quite productive and also keeps productivity up.
Wondering how? Read on to find out about how I keep my productivity up throughout the year with the occasional procrastinating through organization strategy.
How I Organize To Keep My Productivity Up
So, to keep it simple, let’s divide organizing into two types – space, and time. Well, if you’ve met me, you know that I love to organize. Even way back in middle (junior high)/secondary school (whatever you call it in your part of the world!), I used to colour-code classes and appointments in my paper agenda.
First of all, having a tidy and organized space makes work so much more productive. Why? Well, it’s simple. You can simply find everything when you need it. A missing item is not longer “wherever you last put it”, but in its appropriate place. In fact, I re-organize my apartment every summer, from top to bottom. All of it.
When it’s done, a rush of a fresh, new-start, exciting feeling envelops me, and I know I’m ready to get to my summer tutoring (or this year, my PhD analysis). Actually, the decluttering took almost a week this year – cleaning everything, including walls and backpacks/bags, organizing clothes, books, and buying whatever needed replacing.
The result? A space I love. Since at times my apartment works as my office, this gives me the perfectly clean space I need.
So, if you haven’t read my post on How To Use Google Calendar to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed it’s full of tips and a mini screen capture video you can check out. As I mentioned before, I’ve always loved my calendars, even before Google. Actually, as I’m writing this, I’m remembering that I used to be in charge of the family whiteboard calendar when I was a kid, updating that in different colours, too. So, I was born an organizer! If you don’t organize your time, it’s really easy to be unproductive. Check out my tips below!
5 Productivity Tips For Teachers & Tutors
So, if you’re reading this, you may be an English teacher or tutor looking to become a bit more productive. Well, don’t worry, I’m here to help! Here are my top 5 tips, in line with organizing both your space and time.
1. Keep Your Workspace Clean & Tidy
So, as I mentioned above, tip #1 is key. For me, a clear workspace = a clear mind. If you work from home (as a summer or online tutor, for example), it’s easy to get distracted around the house. So, clean up first. Put those dishes away, organize those piles on your desk. Then, get to work and stay focused. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is without a mess around you!
2. Deep Clean & Reorganize Once A Year
As I mentioned above, I deep clean my apartment every summer. Actually, it gives me a sense of renewel and a “fresh start” before the fall semester begins. Overwhelmed by the concept?
Make a list! Yes, I make lists for everything – on Google Calendar, Trello, and even occasionally on post-it-notes.
3. Have Students’ Folders Updated, Labelled & Filed
Have you seen my post on 6 Simple Ways To Organize Your English Teaching Resources? In it, I detail how I organize my teaching books for the year. Also, I write about how I organize tutoring cupboards and shelves to have the right material available, at the right time. That’s right, no more digging around to find what you need. Alternatively, it’s labelled and ready for you when you need. In fact, in my FREE 7 Day Email course, I even have a few videos you can access that detail my method. A full, intensive course jam-packed with value is coming soon, too!
4. Make A List of Resource Websites & Have Printables Ready To Print
Well, if you don’t have access to my FREE printables library, be sure you go ahead and click the link to do that. I’ve got three to four printables FREE every month to help all of you out with English teaching resources. Of course, you may find more resources online that you love. How do you keep track of them all? Well, I suggest putting together a resources page like I have. You can do this on a blog or simply in a word document, so you can always find what you need!
5. Reuse Lesson Plans by Adapting Them Into Different Versions
So, how many times do you wish you had the worksheet you are using in a different version?Be sure to save all of the work you do, and have it organized in neat computer files, so you can copy and adapt files for different students or classes. Personally, I use Carbonite for backup since it creates a copy of my files on a secure server. While it’s true that it doesn’t sync on all devices like Google Drive or Dropbox, it is half the price for the full plan and has unlimited space for one device. So, if you want to be sure everythingis backed up, I think the $5 a month is worth it. (You can check out a free trial using my affiliate link here). Of course, I only recommend products I love.
Well, I hope these tips help you become both more organized and more productive! What’s your best organizational story? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
P.S. Photography fans, the photo for today’s post is one I took in Maastricht, Holland in October 2016.
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