Four habits of highly productive educators

Are you burning the midnight oil trying to get ahead of your workload? Educators and family literacy staffers wear many hats—from practitioner to grant writer to bookkeeper. While your workload might not decrease, how you approach your work can help you stay on top of it. Here are some tips from staff at the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) to help increase your productivity:


Capture everything you need to do on a checklist

Embrace the checklist. Keep a running list of things to do and color-code priorities. Reorganizing the list based on highest priority can be helpful—cloud-based applications, like Google Docs, come in handy for rearranging lists and sharing them with others. Add everything to your list, even if it’s a month or more away. Send yourself reminders of tasks—big or small—through your digital or email calendar to help keep you on deadline.

At the end of your work day, review your list and designate priorities for the next morning. Use time on Friday afternoon to write the priorities for Monday so you are ready to start the day when it comes.


Enlist in the help of apps. An alternative to using your digital or email calendar, an app like Wunderlist could help keep your to-do list in order. If you often have trouble remembering to do even small things, use your phone’s “Reminders” app and use it for anything you need to remember, such as emailing someone a document or completing your timesheet.


man focusing
Focus on just one task to knock it out

Do the small things right away. Small things build up to be big things; if you get too many small things that you put aside, they become big. To accomplish the small things, focus on working on just one project and ignore everything else—email and phone included—for 20 minutes or more if needed, then switch to a different activity.



A quick walk can help you make a game plan

Get moving. It make seem counter-intuitive, but time away from work can lead to better job performance and productivity. Try to take 15 or 20 minutes during your work day to walk outside. Doing so could help you clear your head and make a game plan for addressing your priorities. Plus, you’ll get stress relief and other health benefits!

These are just some of the ways NCFLers tackle their workloads.

We want to hear from you! What productivity tips and tricks work best for you?