How to Take Back Control of Your Work

There is no simple solution on how to deal with an overwhelming workload and the related stress. The ways to tackle it can initially seem time-consuming but as with every project or task, it's often the planning that can make a real difference.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with your workload, you can raise it with your manager or Headteacher and discuss it in your team meetings. Your colleagues may be able to help with certain things and you can come up with ideas as a team to deal with certain admin work. 

Scheduling and keeping to your planned time can be important. Everyone has a different way of working, your colleagues may file as they go along but you might save it until the end of the week. If you don't schedule this time into your week you may find you end up doing a month's worth of filing in one go.

The video How to Multiply Your Time takes a different approach to time management. The speaker Rory Vaden talks about how you need to add a third dimension to the Urgent/Important matrix, he brings in Significance which asks how long does something matter. People who think like this are called Multipliers and rather than ticking tasks off their to-do list, they ask 'What can I do today that will make the future better?'

We may find ourselves doing something because it's always been done that way but it's worth considering for example if that weekly report is viewed or useful. There is no point wasting time on something that no one uses or looks at. Perhaps there is a quicker way to complete a task, is it possible to automate it rather than done manually? Questioning your current processes or the way you work may help reduce your workload.

How about your emails? Are they organised in a way that saves you time? Other small things might be shortcuts and tricks with your Word or Excel. You could try checking emails at scheduled intervals to not interrupt working on a key task.These things may seem trivial but the hugely successful British cycling team adopted the Kaizen concept to improve their performance. Kaizen is a management technique which is about “continuous improvement… Doing little things better, setting and achieving ever higher standards.” 

Teacher workload is an ongoing issue and it takes all parties involved to find a solution. Kent County Council is actively working with schools to raise awareness and to provide support with taking forward the key findings and recommendations made by the three independent teacher-led workload review groups for marking, planning and resources and data management. As a local authority, we are encouraging school leaders and governors to review their policies and practice to reduce teacher workload.

Do you have any advice or tips to share?

You may be interested in reading 10 Ways to Stop Work Stress From Taking Over.

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