The state or quality of being efficient.
But what does efficiency mean to you?
Does it mean
ticking off items on your to do list within the day
clearing out your email inbox
working quickly yet effectively
running your copies while also eating your lunch
grading papers while watching Netflix
I think most jobs these days require, if not expect, efficiency. There are deadlines to meet and tasks to be executed. I try to teach this to my students through our classroom routines and norms. I rely heavily on routine such as bellringers each day and using a timer for every activity that we do.
But in terms of work-life balance, how can we become efficient while not running around like a crazy person? How can we maintain our sanity?
Below are some tips for maintaining efficiency + your wellbeing
Try out a time tracker like this one to identify how you spend your time. Track everything, from that 2-3 minute Instagram scroll break to interrupting your grading to answer an email right away. From here you can identify what you need to focus on to spend your time more wisely.
Like I mentioned before, I use a timer for everything in my classroom. But what about my personal life? The past couple of months I have started using the timer on my phone so I know how long I have to stay on task without interruption. There are also timer cubes that are all the rage right now if you want to hop on board of that bandwagon.
Schedule your breaks throughout the day- at work and at home. Be intentional when the day begins and know what time your breaks are. This also gives you something to look forward to throughout the day!
Quit the multitasking
This one is difficult for me and I am not quite all on board with this tip yet. But, it makes total sense. If I set my timer and solely focus on one task at time the better the chance of me finishing that task early/on time.
A clean workspace
Ever spend twenty minutes looking for something that you just knew was on your desk? Cut back on that time and feel more prepared by having a clean work space. Each day after the last period I make sure to clean and organize my desk for the next day. It also helps me feel more at peace and prepared for the next day. And, who knows if I will have an emergency and need a substitute? Having everything situated can help in those last minute situations as well.