Eisenhower productivity matrix: time-management for teachers
It's 7.40pm and your wife has just texted you from the train to say that she'll need picking up in 15 minutes. The station is 10 minutes away but thankfully you won't have to walk anywhere to get the car tonight - it's right outside your office where you left it after picking it up from the garage earlier in the day. The brakes needed doing and the bill's paid but you need to pay the credit card bill which has been sitting on yor desk for days because you're getting near the limit.
Last night was a write off work-wise because of the new staff drinks - a pleasant affair but you've been wondering all day whether you should have just stuck to one glass of wine. The night stretches ahead. There are three UCAS statements to write for pupils who are keen to get their applications off early. Tomorrow you've got U6th, L6th and 1st form lessons, all of which need preparing for. The pile of marking on your desk will definitely need attending to before tomorrow so that you can hand the work back and clear the weekend.
Also on your desk is a request from the department of education to check the figures they have for the school's summer examination results. The deadline on the letter is Monday 7th October. Tomorrow there is an academic extension meeting at lunch time and it's your turn to run the session. The head of 5th form has asked you to prepare something to say to the year group about what lies ahead of them - you'd like to say something high impact and make a real impression on them but there might not be time.... Also on your to-do list are:
- sorting out the sixth form private study register
- ringing a set of parents to confirm that they are okay with their son's subject combinations
- submitting a list of names to the school shop of the pupils you've given text books to
- observing the lessons of the four new colleagues who've joined the school
- setting up the first of your appraisal discussions of the term with the head of English
- finalising the arrangements for open day (allocating pupils and staff to activities, making sure everyone know where to go and when)
- writing up the minutes from the last head of departments' meeting
- responding to problems that are emerging with BYOD (you'll probably need to speak to the school) and encouraging the staff to use technology more in their lessons - anecdotal evidence is that it's not being used enough yet
- ringing the car warranty company to ascertain whether the warranty has now expire on your car
- finalising the arrangements for the medical conference you want to organise in school in the summer and writing to neigbouring schools to invite them
- setting up a direct debit to start paying pocket money into your daughter's new bank account (she's been pestering you about this for ages!)
- making preparations for a 'cross curricular day' with the 1st form and Bellan due to take place in mid-October
- making adjustments to the strategic academic plan as suggested by the chair of the governors' education committee
- going on a run, yesterday you only managed a pitiful 20 minutes. Fitness has often slipped by the wayside when there's been a lot on at work, but you're determined to get back into shape this year.
Meanwhile, in your inbox you need to respond to:
- an e-mail from the Bursar with this weekend's Governors' meeting agenda - you'd like to read the papers properly so that you are prepared
- an invoice from Amazon for a book you've purchased for the careers library - this needs to be printed off and passed to the Bursary so that you can get reimbursed
- an e-mail from a parent enquiring about SEN arranegements at the school
- an e-mail from the head of business studies asking you to return her laptop chargers
- an e-mail from the head of geography asking for your input on predicted grades for the U6th
On top of all this you'd like to finish the Casual Vacancy, a book you brought for your Kindle in the holidays, but on which you've lost the thread because it's been several weeks since you last picked it up. You also need to dedicate some time to the next phase of your doctorate.
What do you do next? Use Eisenhower's quadrant to decide...