Teachers - Signs to Have Handy to Increase Your Productivity
by Meggin McIntosh
Rated "G" by the Author.
edited: Friday, October 31, 2008
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2008
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Consider these Ways to Send a Clear Message
Sometimes, it's worth announcing to others (or to remind yourself) that you are trying to be productive. You can make your own signs for this purpose or you can download the ones that I have already created for you (just go to my websites listed below and click on the Downloads link). There is no charge and you're welcome to print them and share them with others.
For a few ideas on how to announce to yourself and others that you are working at being productive, consider the following:
- Use signs to remind yourself of what you're doing and why (for example, a sign that says, "What is the best use of my time, right now?" or maybe something like "If I died today, would this matter?") This helps you focus on priorities, believe me!
- Don't clutter up your area with too many signs, but if you are trying to remind yourself to de-clutter, put up one sign at a time (for example, "Clutter is postponed decisions." *Barbara Hemphill)
- I believe it was Napoleon Hill who said, "What you think about, you bring about." Use a sign to remind yourself what it is you want to be focused on, such as a particular goal. For example, when I was an assistant professor, I had a sign up that said, "Full professor by 40." And it (almost) worked. I was 41 when I was promoted to full prof.
- You might use a sign to keep in mind the new habit you are trying to integrate into your life. "Breathe," for example.
- Or, possibly you are working on saying "No" more often. I have created quite a few signs to help remind you of this one at my Top Ten Productivity Tips site. Take a look at the Downloads tab.
Other ideas for signs are to use them to tell others what you want them to do:
- If you have been de-cluttering and you put a bunch of stuff in the teachers' lounge for folks to take, then put up a sign that says that. If you don't (and just put the stuff out), you'll be interrupted by people asking you why the stuff is there. Give them a sign.
- Ask others not to disturb you. It's best to put the time when they can come back (and you'll see that I have left a place for that on the signs I've created for you). If you don't put the time when it's OK for them to return, then they will knock on your door anyway.
- Give others a reason why you're asking them not to disturb you. Maybe you're on a deadline or you have something of the highest importance due. Tell people what is happening with you and ask that they be thoughtful of your time and priorities. Here is one more reason to use a door sign.
- By asking others to come back later (and we tell them why), it helps us to stop "self-interrupting." You know what I mean, I'm sure, but in case you don't... It's what happens when we are working on something that is high priority, but it is not exactly what we want to be doing (say, writing a grant, grading a set of papers, completing some planning for an upcoming unit). We look for any excuse to stop working, regardless of how inconsequential. Someone walking by--let alone in--our office or classroom is certainly enough to make us stop doing what we need to be doing. Signs help with this.
Remember, you can make your own signs for this purpose or you can download the ones that I have already created for you. Either way, provide reminders for yourself and others.Educators have the most influential positions in our society--and need every bit of support that can be mustered. Two resources that will help increase educators' sense of peaceful, predictable productivity are Meggin's weekly emails.
Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh changes what people know, feel, dream, and do via seminars, workshops, writing, coaching, and consulting. For additional information on Meggin's seminars, workshops, consulting, and coaching, visit Emphasis on Excellence.
*Barbara Hemphill is the creator of a file organization software called The Paper Tiger. I highly recommend this program for your home or office to create space for productivity.
c) 2008 by Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D., "The Ph.D. of Productivity"(tm). Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh changes what people know, feel, dream, and do. Sound interesting? It is!