The end of the school year is so busy. Now is the time to get organized. In this blog post, I'll give you my 1-2-3 steps to stress less and 5 productivity hacks. Many of them involve Post-it® Brand Products. I use them all the time, from storyboarding, to drafting articles, to accenting my DIY planner.
[callout]This blog post is sponsored by Post-it® Brand. [/callout]
[button href=”http://www.post-it.com/3M/en_US/post-it/ideas/articles/productivity-tool” primary=”true” centered=”true” newwindow=”true”]What productivity type are you? Take the quiz[/button]
21-Day Productivity Challenge
1 – One thing at a time
Multitasking is a myth. Focus is necessary to get anything done. To keep on track, I am committing to focus on ONE thing at a time. Just one.
To find out what kind of planner I am, I took a quiz using the Post-it® Brand Productivity Tool. In their research, they found that there are four types of planners. As a “Mindful Maverick” I learned that I need visual cues.
2 – Two kind notes a day
“Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” -Scott Adams
3 – Three most important things
In Summary. The 21-Day Challenge I'm taking is:
5 Productivity Hacks and Tips to Help Get Organized
1- Do a Brain Dump
When I brainstorm, I take each idea and put it on one note and put it on my desk. (see the picture) I like to color code by topic or idea for patterns to emerge. (I do this when outlining the books I write too.)
The productivity quiz from Post-it® Brand I took earlier says that I need to keep my mind clear by doing a brain dump of all the items on my list. I also need to make sure my to-do items are showing on my calendar. Finally, I need to focus on one thing at a time. This fits with what I already know about myself.
So, as I was working on my planning system for the last two months of school, I put all of the ideas and issues with my planner onto individual notes (pictured to the right.) Then, as I worked on my planner, I used the ideas to make sure my end of school system will support what I need to make it through the end of the school year.
[callout] Declutter your mind by doing a brain dump of all that you have to do. Just use Post-it® Notes to make it easy. [/callout]
2 – Customize Your System Based on Your Location
At home, I brain dump my list on Post-it® Super-Sticky Notes. I have a door on the top of a cabinet that I can use to keep these. That way, I can grab what I'm working on and stick it on my computer monitor.
At school, however, I use a page in my planner designated for “brain dumps.” That is because students sometimes sit at my desk to scan pictures or use my computer and I don't want them bothering my notes or reading them.
So, as a school teacher, some things need to be adapted to home and school.
[callout]Intentionally think about organizing your home and work. You'll need slightly different systems for both. [/callout]
3 – Know Your Style
As a “Mindful Maverick,” I'm a visual person. Out of sight, out of mind.
That is why, although I've used the Reminders app on my phone some, I have to get it on paper on ONE list. But before I write it down, if I do my brain dump on Post-it® Notes, then I can organize it.
Knowing your style of organizing will help you select the best tools for you. Each person is unique. Each person remembers in a different way. For this reason, I believe that everyone's system of planning is truly do it yourself.
[callout]Do it yourself. Customize. Use colors. Decide what works for you.[/callout]
4 – Quickly Access Notes
My goal is to be able to access anything within three seconds. Why? Well, my frustration kicks in if I can't find it before. I admit – this time of year it is hard.
[callout]Use Post-it® Tabs to organize the back of your binder so you can put your hands on important items quickly. [/callout]
5 – Make Things That Change Quickly Easy to Move Around
Also, I use a Kanban board approach which literally has me moving my Post-it® Super Sticky Notes around. (I got lots of ideas for this use from Sia Kyriakakos, 2016 Teacher of the Year for Baltimore City Schools, and art teacher from Maryland.)
When I have things that are fluid I will use smaller 3×3 Post-it® Notes. For example, with my podcast, sometimes events or things that happen cause me to move shows around. So, instead of using dry erase markers, I now use Post-it® Notes. They stick and re-stick so I can easily move them.
I write the guest name and then moving around the calendar as I see fit to determine who's going to be up at different times.
I also use this method at school. This year, I'm teaching Digital Filmmaking. We have to plan our shooting schedule between two film crews. For the movie projects I'm working on, we write each shot on a Post-it® Note.
Then, students can come in and grab a shot and go do it. Then, they put the shot on a board so the editors know the film is ready to edit.
[callout]For projects that are dynamic, you need to use Post-it® Super Sticky notes which will stick and re-stick. [/callout]
I also hope that you will get organized for the end of the school year using some of these techniques of brainstorming organizing and just putting everything together.
And I challenge you to either take this 21-day productivity challenge or, create your own challenge. Share your own planner type and your goal progress on your social channels using #makeitstick.
This is a great time of year to focus on some simple productivity techniques that will give us peace of mind and help us make it to the end of the school year without being so exhausted and stressed. We can do this!
[callout]Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) Please also note that all opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any sponsor or employer.[/callout]
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