Monday, January 9, 2017

Set an Alarm and Go Home

I don't know about you, but I work much more effectively with a deadline. In fact, if I don't have a deadline, I am probably not going to do any work. Perhaps this is because the level of personal responsibility for moms and teachers is astounding, or maybe it is a result of the conditioning from being a student myself. Who knows?

What I do know is I can get my lesson plans gussied up posthaste if I know I am getting observed next period, and I can prep for a lab I decided to squeeze in at the last minute like a rock star. I am pretty sure the meme above was made for people like me.

Real talk.

So, when I decided to take back my life from my 80-90 hour workweek (that is not an exaggeration), one of the first things I did was to set a daily alarm on my phone for 4:15 p.m. and then leave. If you have a fitness tracker like a Fitbit, you could use a silent alarm, too.

Hitting the door at 4:15 gave me 30 minutes after the students were dismissed to wrap up tasks I hadn't finished and an overall work day of 8 hours and 25 minutes. The deadline helped give me a mild sense of urgency, and I immediately started to prioritize my time at work more efficiently. I stayed more focused during my planning period knowing I wouldn't be at school until 6:00 p.m. and then working into the wee hours once I got home. In case you want to see my smiling face give you the details...

According to this Washington Post article, most teachers work 10 hours and 40 minutes daily; and, in addition to their time at work:

"Teachers then spend another 95 minutes at home grading, preparing classroom activities, and doing other job-related tasks. The workday is even longer for teachers who advise extracurricular clubs and coach sports —11 hours and 20 minutes, on average."

Side note: God bless the coaches of the world.

At least the data says I was not alone in my endless cycle of work, but I think we owe it to ourselves to start whittling down on those numbers. I challenge you to set an alarm tomorrow.

Now, when was this blog post due again?



  1. I missed this in January- just started following your page. Good advice.

  2. Thanks Blair. Have a great end of the year!