This summer has flown by. I can not believe that my 5th year of teaching is finally here. There were so many things that I set to get done this summer, and many of those things fell by the wayside. As I sit here typing this out and trying to get everything organized and ready (as much as I can) for a new full year of school, private lessons, and the gig life, my head is spinning thinking about all that needs done. I am the queen of stressing, worrying, and planning till my head is spinning and reeling about every little thing. I put way too much pressure on myself to have all of the details set in stone and be planned, trying to be proactive and as ready as possible. I get in a time crunch thinking that everything has to be set that day… I have to know everything now, it can’t wait till tomorrow or the next day. If I looked deep inside to the real reason I feel I must have everything planned right away, it would be because I am fearful that I may miss a commitment, mess something up, not schedule something correctly, and therefore I failed at whatever it may be. Wow- so much pressure. When I actually write it out, I see just how much I have placed on myself.
First year of teaching (2013) and first year with an iPhone! 😂
Fifth year teaching (2017) Day 1-New Room- ( the reveal will be coming soon! )
I am a control freak and so having a detailed plan is super important to me. As a teacher, I am constantly thinking about back up plans and many times have a couple different options for sub plans, just in case I don’t get a music sub. I make sure that I am like 110% ready! I make sure that I keep all of my papers from the past, update files, and keep my planner up to date. But I have also learned that while I may have everything planned, wanting to get something specific accomplished on a certain day, certain time may not happen. Flexibility is key! I will tell you that if you are entering the education profession, just know that days will go as unplanned and even though you may have everything prepared, and have spent so much time on the plans and implementations, the classes may not always go as planned. More than likely that vision or idea you had of teaching your students or accomplishing certain things within that day, will not happen- It is what it is. You can either dwell on the realization that all of the things you planned may not get done and wish they could have, or be flexible and continue the journey.
I remember my first year of teaching and being completely overwhelmed. You are never really prepared to start teaching, even with all the classes you take, it is completely different once you actually begin. I planned so much and had WAY too much information in my lesson plans, and by the end of the 1st week I realized that if I continued this way, I would be burnt out within the first 5 weeks of school, (forget about burn out after 5 years) and my kids would continue to look at me with completely confused looks. Sometimes I wonder if God looks at us with the same confused look as my students gave me, thinking, “What the heck are you doing? You know that you don’t have to have it altogether today, right?… You have a couple of weeks to get things planned, etc!” I’m sure I make God laugh a lot with all the crazy things I try to juggle at one time. I can totally envision God looking down from Heaven, shaking His head, thinking… “When will you give it to me?… When will you decide to let me take over,” – maybe even singing… Jesus take the Wheel! ( Jk, but for real).
Frustrations will come and things may not go as planned, but God knows and He is right there to help you where you’re at. This is something that I felt God telling me as I have been pulling my hair out with all the planning and scheduling I still have to do. Having a plan is not a bad thing… It is a great thing! But, when your planning, organizing and scheduling turn into a head ache and cause you to stress and worry, or cause you to be in a fog unsure of what to get done first, you need to give it to God. If you’re like me and super stubborn, with ideas of your own and a control problem, that can be really hard. So what do you do?
Here are some steps to Giving your plans to God, Planning and feeling prepared.
Get your priorities straight.
What are you wanting to accomplish? Start brainstorming and write those things down. Ask God to help you figure out what you are trying to accomplish right now and what He wants to accomplish. Meeting with God in the morning has really helped my days go more smoothly and while, nothing is perfect, I know that I am a lot more ready to handle the day with His help. I had to do this the first couple of weeks back, with all the meetings and being in a new room. I had a couple of days where I literally could not think and could not make a step forward towards accomplishing anything… after I prayed about it, I felt that God helped me focus on the important things needing done first.
Write down a check list and prioritize what needs done first.
I am the check list queen. I love writing down checklists and feeling a sense of accomplishment when I get to check an item off that list. When prioritizing, look at what will take the most time to get done, when something is due or needed to be done, and what can be done that will help with another item on the list ( get 2 done at once). Maybe even organize it based on what you need to do in what area of life… job, home, etc.
– Make a ranking system based on importance!
Focus on a couple of items a day!
Once you have compiled your brainstorming list of things you want to accomplish and have made your checklists, try to tackle at least 5 things a day and be done. This is something I am challenging myself with. You can go all crazy trying to get everything done at once and possibly do some of it well, or you can get a couple of things done at one time and do them well. Even though I feel that I can accomplish a lot and do many things well, I know, from experience, that I am not well physically or mentally trying to get everything done all at once.
Don’t try to multitask Do one thing at a time.
– I love to Multitask, but it has been proven that multitasking sometimes can lead to weaker productivity. You may get more distracted by all the shifting between other things. (This totally happened to me the other day and I worked so much slower because of it!) Maybe even try turning your phone off or putting it away… You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish without your phone being a distaction.
Find blocks of time that you can focus on your to-do lists
Do you work better in the morning, afternoon or evening? Find the best times for you to get things done and be able to focus your attention on your priorities. Grab a nice cup of coffee or a great glass of wine in the evening and get it done! Turn the T.V. off, turn your phone off, turn off your notifications on your phone… get rid of all distractions. Maybe you need to schedule those specific times in your planner… whatever you need to do to help yourself, do it! It sounds kind of funny, but I like to schedule times in my planner to get specific things or plans done. Sometimes I even have to schedule reminders for myself to give myself a personal day or some self-love… this is important too (Don’t neglect yourself!)
There are so many fun planners out there now a days… grab your favorite and stay organized! Here are 3 fun planners!
The Bullet Journal get yours Here
Info about the planner (Buzzfeed) A bullet journal is good for…
– People who have a million little to-do lists floating around
– People who like pen and paper to-do lists
– People who are into goal-setting and habit tracking
– People who like stationary, journaling, scrapbooking, beautiful pens, etc.
– People who really love planners
– People who want to really love planners, or who want to be more organized
– People who would really like to keep a journal/diary but are having trouble sticking with the habit
The Happy Planner- get yours Here
More about the Happy Planner from Amazon:
- Keep a track of birthdays, reminders and to-do list using this box kit from Me & My Big Ideas. You can use the included sticky notes, bookmarks and stickers to glam up your Medium Happy Planner. Featuring a fun design, this box kit is a must-have desk essential.
ErinCondren Planners ( the one I have) I love! 🙌🏻 get yours Here
- — 40 Weeks of Lesson Planning
- — 12 Month Calendar Spreads With Goals Page Before Each Month
- — Double-Page Checklists & Reusable Sheet Protectors
- — Plan for It Pouch & Keep It Together Folder Included
- — Choose Your Coil: Platinum, Rose Gold or Gold
This is the planner I chose this year… I Love Pizza!!!
These things really helped me a couple of weeks ago and even now, as I try to plan and strategize for this coming year. I hope these suggestions will help you out whenever you get stressed and/or are trying to get a lot accomplished in a small amount of time. And here are some verses to help you get through those frustrating times too… they have been helping me and are still very comforting.
____________________________VERSES TO COMFORT YOU________________________
Philippians 4:6 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. “
Proverbs 3:5 “ Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Proverbs 16:3 “ Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. “
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares on him, because he cares for you.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Hope you find some peace from the stress of whatever you’re going through or working on. Take heart and know.. You are not alone! We all deal with these things, but finding the ways you deal with stress and planning is the best to help you now and later on! Enjoy your weekend!
Till next time, I pray that you find joy in each day and let go of the things that may not have worked yesterday!
6 thoughts on “Planning and De-stressing 101”
Loved this post Erin and I’m also letting you know I nominated you for the blogging recognition award! http://www.blondedlights.com/2017/08/the-blogger-recognition-award.html?m=1
Wow! Thank you so much for reading my latest post and for the award! I am super excited about that! I will read yours post soon and get to working on my post! Thank you so much!
Great post, Erin! I keep saying I’m going to get organized. Well, yesterday my boss gave me a task Calendar and now I’m reading this. A sign to get me motivated!
I am so glad you read it and , wow… how funny! So glad you have a way to get organized… it will help you so much! Can’t wait to hear of all the awesome things you’ll accomplish now that you have a task calendar!
I’m so happy I finally had a chance to sit down and read this post! It’s almost like God was telling me to wait to read it at a moment that I absolutely needed to hear these words, and tonight (really this whole week) is that moment!! Your advice is spot on, and I can totally relate to not wanting to miss a commitment or messing something up. *Keeping it real moment: I can also be completely the opposite though where my anxiety sets in or I become so overwhelmed that I just start avoiding, which makes things even more stressful. I love your idea for the bullet journal (I have ALWAYS wanted to try one of these) and I am definitely loving my new planner! I do need to get better with letting things go and putting them into God’s hands…sometimes I try to control things that I really need to just hand over and let Him take the wheel. Thank you for being open and honest about your struggles with stress!! Loved this so much!
I am so glad you enjoyed reading it, and that you were able to read it at the perfect time! Your comment about keeping it real … that was so me this summer some and I still do this sometimes. It makes it way worse! I have never tried the billet journals, but a lot o my friends have them and I may just need to get one of those as well!!! Hope your week went well! We can do this… we will be awesome teachers and we can help each other!