Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Organize in Advance

I am always surprised when the holidays arrive and I don’t have time to do some fun holiday activities. At the beginning of the year I think of all the wonderful plans I will have but then I get caught in the day to day happenings and then I’m surprised that the next week is a holiday. I have not given myself enough time to gather materials and set up lessons for the holidays and another year goes by with good intentions but little to show for it.

I didn’t have Google Calendar back then but I wish I did. It is so easier to access whether I’m at home or at school and can add events from either place. Then I get an email each day of what is planned for that day. I can also glance at the week or the month so that I know what is coming up. I actually put on certain dates when I need to buy materials and run off directions. This helps me be prepared on the day that I want to do the actual activity.

There are many different calendar sites online but I just prefer Google Calendar because there some events that I share with my husband. He doesn’t have to see all the things on my calendar and just sees the events that I need for him to know about. This keeps me from having a bunch of different calendars and trying to coordinate them all in one place. I really wish someone had told me about this a long time ago. I even color code different things on my calendar. I have them separated for personal, online events, both of us need to know, and educational things. I could add more categories if I needed to add them.

I have been trying this for about six months now and I’m really pleased with how organized it helps me be. I can schedule in preparation time as well as the actual event. I don’t feel as rushed to get things done in a timely manner and I can enjoy the activity instead of feeling overwhelmed.

No matter what kind of calendar you use, try adding in the steps that you need before the actual activity. This will help relieve a lot of stress as holidays get near. I believe organizing your activities in advance will help me be more successful in the classroom.

Original image: 'Someone's Lost Schedule Book' by: Alfonso Surroca


Mike said...

What a great and practical post Pat. I have google calendar but I don't know how to do all the coloring and categorizing. I'm going to look into that. I'm still delightfully impressed with how I can look at my regular calendar and then overlay my school calendar over it. Blink, and I've got them both in different colors. Sweet!

Hannah's Mom said...

Pat--I love my Google calendar--also because it sends me text messages on my phone and I can set how far in advance it does that. So if I know I need to leave 30 minutes before the appointment to get there, I set the notification for 45 minutes before so I can finish up and get going. I also sync my Google and Outlook calendar so I can get alerts from both calendars and see my calendar from pretty much anywhere! Gooooo Google!

loonyhiker said...

Mike: The coloring and categorizing really makes it worthwhile for me.

loonyhiker said...

@Exceptional Paradise I need to set my alerts better like you mentioned. I look at it at the beginning of the day but sometimes get caught up in what I'm doing and end up rushing.

mattdeamaral said...

Thanks for the great post. After I read it, I started using Google Calendar right away. It's such a flexible tool for keeping track of all lifes events. Thanks for the suggestion!

Meaghan said...

I just got into using Google Calendar myself and I think it is great. I love how you can set up different calendars for different areas of your life, then merge them together.