How To Save Time And Be More Productive

productivity.jpgThis advice comes from an unlikely source: Yahoo finance. Geared towards increasing productivity and keeping your sanity, I think most of these tips can apply to ESL. What do you think?

1. Having goals is more important than the content of the goals

Set goals, any goals: the number of books you will look through before deciding on an activity, how many classes you will develop outlines for in one sitting, etc.

2. Get information at scheduled times

For example, “Sharing ideas at teachers meetings is more efficient than taking them in one by one throughout the week on an individual basis” and “Don’t randomly scour the internet for activities, set aside half an hour for that every other day.”

3. Make your to-do list doable

Apparently, your “inner boss” comes up with cool projects, your “inner assistant” runs around figuring out how to do them. Get a dose of reality from your inner assistant and limit how much you take on.

4. Do something you are passionate about
Then you don’t mind investing the time in it.

5. Do important tasks instead of urgent ones
This is perhaps the hardest to apply to teaching…quite a bit is actually both urgent and important: when your class starts – you’re on! And this formula repeats itself every day for teachers. I might agree more with “look at the big picture”: if you can tell a joke and get students to engage in friendly pair banter for five minutes, do that instead of planning and cutting up another supplementary activity.

6. Focus on outcome

Yes. If I focus on the activity and tell myself I have ten hours to write three TEFL Logue posts…guess how long it is before I’m done? Sure, it takes time to write good content and… figure out how to spell things and so on…but I agree 100% that outcomes as opposed to just activities are important. This is connected to having goals which are focused on outcomes.

It is hard to beat these tips because they come from experts, but I’ll ask anyway: do you have any others?