As winter break approaches, the excitement of a well-deserved pause is palpable. However, if you’re a new teacher like I once was, you might cringe at the thought of spending the entire break catching up on work. I vividly remember those first two years, burying myself in lesson plans and stacks of papers, hoping to get ahead but ending up more exhausted than ever. Today, let’s unravel a better way, a strategy that not only allows you to catch up but enables you to get ahead in just a few hours a day, leaving you rejuvenated for the coming semester.
Listen to the Podcast Episode:
Watch the YouTube Video:
Pick Your Goal
The first step to getting ahead over winter break is to define your goals clearly. What do you want to get ahead in? Whether it’s lesson planning, grading, weekly newsletters, or prepping, pick your priorities. Establish a concrete goal, like aiming to be one month ahead in lesson planning or completely caught up with grading. This sets a clear target for your break.
Theme Your Days
To prevent the overwhelm of multitasking, assign a theme to each day. For instance, make Monday your dedicated lesson planning day, Tuesday for grading, and so forth. This technique minimizes task-switching, allowing you to immerse yourself in one focused area at a time. It’s a simple yet powerful strategy to enhance productivity.
Set a Limit
Time is your ally when used wisely. Set realistic time limits for your tasks. If you give yourself the entire day, it’s likely to take the entire day. Instead, allocate a specific time, say 1-3 hours, and commit to accomplishing as much as you can within that timeframe. This not only boosts efficiency but also prevents burnout.
BONUS TIP- Reflect and Schedule Fun Time
As you progress through your goals, take a moment to reflect. What went well? What could be improved? Tweak your approach accordingly. Additionally, don’t forget to schedule fun time. Winter break is your opportunity to recharge. Watch a movie, indulge in your favorite book, and enjoy the well-deserved downtime. Incorporating this balance is crucial for a truly restful break.
And there you have it — a comprehensive guide to getting ahead during winter break. By setting clear goals, theming your days, and respecting time limits, you can make the most of this break without sacrificing your well-being. If you’re hungry for more strategies, consider joining us in the Ready, Set Prep challenge. We’ll guide you on extending these practices into the school year, ensuring you stay ahead without the need to overwork during prep time.
Want me to show you how to get ahead in a single weekend? Check out the Winter Break Reset Mini-Course and use coupon code: PRESENTTEACHERPODCAST for $10 off!