Managing a side hustle can be tough. Teachers can especially struggle with giving their best to both of their jobs. But, we can help you there.
You know you can be fully efficient and productive. You have the necessary organizational skills and the drive to do so. But, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.
And – let’s be frank – there are some days when you’re just not up to the task.
Take a look at our productivity hacks list for busy teachers. Consistently implementing just one of these tricks will increase your production output in no time.
1. Become an Early Bird
An obvious and unpopular method, yes?
Most of us simply don’t eagerly anticipate getting up before the sun. Feeling groggy and disoriented in the morning is much more common than springing out of bed.
But, indulge us for a moment and imagine yourself doing exactly – springing out of bed excited to start your day.
How can this possibly happen? you ask.
A recent study has revealed that the right method for beginning our working day has, actually, nothing to do with work.
The main idea is that you rise before most people (generally, 6 A.M.), and simply use this extra time to focus entirely on yourself. You can do anything that pleases you and has you actually anticipating the morning.
This way, you’ll spend those early morning hours on things you love. Afterwards, you’re more likely to come to your job with a smile on your face, increasing your productivity for the rest of the day.
In addition, you’ll be increasing the temporal distance between your bed and your office. This psychologically disrupts the connection we subconsciously have between work and the time it’s taking away from lovely, precious sleep.
It’s easier to wake up in the morning when we’re waking up to something we love. It’s also easier to be completely focused at work when we’re not constantly associating it with less sleep.
2. Pomodoro Technique
You may have already heard of the Pomodoro technique. This is a technique that puts emphasis on the necessity of taking a break.
It seems like such a fancy name for a simple and obvious concept! But, the technique goes a bit deeper.
This productivity hack points out the essential flaw in the human mind when it comes to progress: the everlasting need to procrastinate.
We’re constantly distracting our minds in order to delay the most annoying or difficult of our tasks.
The concept of the technique is that you divide your time into small portions of productive time, interspersed with intervals of breaks. This results in total focusing on the task at hand, vastly boosting your productivity.
Set your timer for 25 minutes, and devote yourself to a single task. You follow that with a mandatory 5-minute pause. Don’t skip a break, or you’ll eventually become exhausted.
After 4 of these cycles (2 hours when totaled), you rest for half an hour.
The intention behind this is to prevent multitasking attempts which are actually quite counterproductive.
Learn more about the Pomodoro Technique here.
3. Drink Cold Water
We all know about the benefits of remaining properly hydrated, but have you heard about its beneficial effects on your productivity?
Hydrate immediately after you wake up, as you’ve just spent a long period of time without drinking anything.
Rania Batayneh, a nutritionist and author, states that water gives you a boost and increases the activity of your organs and muscles. She further recommends that we all drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, as one of the most influential causes of decreased energy levels is dehydration.
4. The Two-Minute Rule
Need a simple little trick to stop your small and tedious tasks from piling up? We’ve got one for you!
Another one of those super effective little hacks is The Rule of Two Minutes. This helps you solve small tasks before they grow into giant pests.
When faced with a small task, ask yourself, “Do I need more than two minutes to do this?”
If the answer’s no, then do that task immediately.
Need to call in an order via mobile phone? Do it immediately. Need to replenish your printer with paper? Do it immediately.
Getting to those microtasks in this way has several positive outcomes.
One is that you’ll decrease the number of times you’ll be faced with a monstrous To-Do list of small tasks (which always need to get done at the most inconvenient of times). Confronting that list all at one time depletes both your mood and productivity.
On the other hand, doing them right now achieves a sense of mini-accomplishment and boosts morale.
A feeling of gradual completion, or a Godzilla-like list of tiring tasks? The trick here is to silence the little voice in your head saying, “It’s no big deal. I can always do it later.”
Read up on the Two-Minute Rule here.
5. The Priority Tasks
To further increase your productivity, you should work on prioritizing a couple of important tasks for the day.
If you write down (or type up) a small list of 3 or 4 of the most crucial tasks that need to get done for the day, your goals will seem much more obtainable. This gives you a very clear action plan for the day.
The results? A laser focus and increased productivity.
Describe each of your tasks in a couple of sentences instead of a few words. You don’t want to lose your original train of thought when you read your To-Do list later.
For example, write on your list “compare product A with product B, and product C with product D,” instead of just “compare products.”
This gives you clear instructions as to what to do next, rather than an obscure and vague idea of your next task.
A list of only 3 or 4 tasks may seem, at first glance, like an unproductive day. But, a day full of many more things all done halfway is also unproductive!
Completing tasks to the very end, even if it’s just a few, will give you that sense of completion and will have you starting the following day with a sense of freshness.
6. Manage Your E-mail
You’re looking for an email with some very important information in it. You know you’ve seen it somewhere in your email… You might even remember the date and time you received it.
But, you still can’t find it!
In order to hack your e-mail management, you can do two things:
The first thing is to keep your inbox organized.
As you read your email, delete or archive it at once, depending on whether you’re going to need to refer to it later.
This way you’ll know exactly where your most important messages are, and you won’t waste a frustrating amount of time with an extensive email search.
The second thing you can do is hire a personal assistant.
Related: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
We may not all be in a position to do this, so you can alternatively organize two periods of time when you collect and analyze your digital mail.
For example, the beginning of the workday and after your lunch break can be reserved for sorting your email – nothing else! Once those times are up, you have to go back to your assigned tasks for the day.
Your workflow will never get disrupted again, resulting in stable productivity.
7. A Bit of Monday on Sunday
Unfortunately, most of us dread that nasty day when we exchange the liberty of the weekends for the engrossing pile of work that just waits for us on Monday.
So, this next productivity hack may not sound all that appealing, but it can mark the difference between an obnoxious Monday and a bearable Monday.
You can work a bit on Sunday.
It doesn’t have to be anything big. Maybe just check a bit of email, organize your schedule, or do some small and menial tasks before you wind down for the day. Decide to do anything that’ll reduce the force of impact Monday usually brings.
The positive effects of this are a gradual preparation for the working mindset instead of the alarm-slap-and-cold-shower Monday morning transition into the work week.
Sometimes a little bit of a head-start can make a big difference at the end of the week.
Stuck between teaching and doing something extra, and feeling like you need a hand in there? Check our productivity hacks here.
8. Get Out
Not joking here. Just get out of the office.
You’ve probably grasped, at this point, that spending your day in front of the papers or computer screen makes a wreck of your health pretty fast.
Science has proven that it’s damaging to your productivity, too.
Physical inactivity paired with the same surroundings that make up your office result in laziness, fatigue, and a lag in creativity.
You can even try to take some of your tasks outdoors. For example, you can go through your email while you’re taking a quick walk.
Moving around and being in shifting surroundings and open space with fresh air can give you a boost.
Feeling good always leads to producing good work!
Create Your Own Method
These productivity hacks are just a few generalized tricks to help you increase your output.
The methods you can create for yourself, however, will have the greatest influence on your productivity.
What kind of music relaxes you or motivates you? Does a specific movie or TV show or jingle always give you a bout of creativity?
Or, do you have a unique ritual that helps you unwind without fail?
Give it a thought: what are your tendencies and habits? How can you use them to your advantage in creating routines and methods to get you moving?
No one knows you better than you, so why not use that to your advantage?
Want to learn how to automate, delegate, be more productive, enjoy life and boost your profit? Check out our high-level mastermind for educators.