6 Steps To A Killer Workflow (Part 3)
February 23, 2021 by Jessie & Joel
Before Diving In
Jessie: Do you ever fantasize about having a 2-hour prep every day? Or just one full day without students or meetings to get caught up on your giant to-do list? Well, we don’t have a magic wand that can grant you more time, but we do have a framework for creating a workflow that may help you feel “done.” Today we’ll be leading you through 6 Steps To A Killer Workflow (Part 3).
Joel: Jessie and I have been crafting and refining our own workflows for years. Our goal has always been to fill our day with the most important things and drop all the unnecessary baggage. Today we’re working through the final two steps. If you’re joining us for the first time, you’ll want to go back to part one in S2E19.
Jessie: And remember, this isn’t a quick fix or something that will completely transform your teaching experience tomorrow. With all Marigold Force frameworks and strategies - intentional effort is necessary. We will break it down into extremely manageable pieces and give lots of examples. However, the action steps are on you. You’ll only get out what you put in. Let’s get started! 6 Steps To Create A Successful Workflow (Part 3).
Recap Steps 1-4
Joel: Here’s a quick recap on the previous steps. Grab your notes!
What's important? Why? What aspects of teaching bring you the most joy? What are you really good at?
List all job requirements and times. What is everything you need to do? Approximately how long do you think it takes you to complete this task every day/week/month?
Map out the day and plug everything in. This was our initial gut feeling on how long everything took.
Focus your time and energy on one thing at a time. You tracked your time and focused your energy on one task at a time.
How did steps 3 and 4 go? What went well? What was challenging? Did you notice any tendencies you had during your workday? Tune in to the podcast to hear our reflections.
Step 5: Get Batching
Jessie: This is definitely the secret sauce to both our workflows. Batch and use templates as much as possible
Batching tasks is a highly effective time-saving hack. Here are 3 benefits:
Efficiency: Bouncing around from task to task gets in the way of any type of momentum. Starting any tasks requires more time because you need to get going, but if you do all similar tasks at once you only need to start once.
Energy: It also requires more energy to shift between different types of tasks. With limited amounts of energy, you want to be able to reserve as much as you can but creating fewer shifts.
Focus: When you need to constantly pivot to different types of tasks you lose focus. By working through similar tasks at once with a similar focus the quality of your work will be higher and you’ll be less distracted by the transitions.
Tasks you should consider batching…
Emails (especially similar types of emails)
Content creation (morning messages, individual practice activities, phonics activities, read alouds, etc.)
Grading longer responses (grade #1 for every student, then #2, and so on)
Listen to the podcast on your preferred platform to hear our examples of batching.
Jessie: Take a moment to note a few things you could batch to save you some valuable time. Write them on the workflow schedule you created or someplace handy. Put some intentional thought into this right now.
Step 5: A Little Bit More On Batching
Joel: The bonus part of step 5 is using templates whenever you’re doing or saying the same thing over and over. Templates you should consider:
Email responses to the same questions
Verbiage for student updates
Lesson planning templates
PowerPoints or other visual supports
Video lessons (materials, learning targets, core instruction, practice)
Click here to hear our examples from the podcast.
Joel: Now it’s your turn. Make a list of questions you get from families again and again. What content do you prepare every single week that could definitely be created from a template? Where else can you save yourself some time by utilizing templates?
Step 6: Reflect And Refine
Jessie: Now it's time to clean up this workflow. Start slow and simple. As you continue to track your time, shift what you need to in your workflow. Are certain tasks taking an unreasonable amount of time? How can you streamline that process with batching or templates? Does anything need to come out?
Slowly build up your arsenal of templates. What is your system for saving and using templates? Figure out what works best for you!
Joel: The number one action step for step 6 is to stick with it. Don’t get discouraged. Like I said at the beginning of the podcast, Jessie and I have been refining our workflows for years. Every new school year, transition, or change forces us to rethink our workflows. So go easy on yourself. You’re already doing the work by listening to this podcast. Keep at it!
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