How Do You Manage A Heavy Workload? Posted on 29 September 2020 by Nikita Ponnappah at Kent-Teach in Career | Schools | Wellbeing Planning and preparing for a job interview can be considered one of the most crucial steps in any interview process, it’s an opportunity for us to present our desirable skills and experience. Many of us like to plan our responses to key questions we think may crop up but a question you may want to think about before your next interview is ‘How do you manage a heavy workload?’ – especially those working in the education sector where workload has been a catalyst for stress and other mental health issues. In 2019 Education Support carried out a wellbeing index, the statistical report found that 71% of educational professionals cited workload as being one of the main reasons for considering leaving their jobs. With this survey in mind, Kent-Teach were interested to find out what contributed to this heavy workload.We asked the question ‘Which of the following causes the biggest increase in your workload’? gaining up to 505 responses from various jobseekers and other education professionals. Interestingly, we found that the highest percentage of respondents chose planning and meetings 27%, followed by 24% marking/ assessment and 22% administration. This indicates that teachers and education staff are spending a substantial length of time on various non-teaching tasks, evidently working longer hours than they are contracted to do. The Department for Education conducted a report last year on Teacher Workload. Their findings show that primary and secondary teachers reported spending the most time on ‘individual planning and preparation of lessons’ (7.8 hours for primary, 7.3 hours for secondary) and ‘marking/correcting pupils work’ (6 hours for primary and 6.3 hours for secondary). These findings are not dissimilar to our own recent findings which supports the idea that many education professionals are still working longer hours. In 2019, 33% of all education professionals worked for more than 51 hours a week on average compared to 32% in 2018, so there hasn’t been much improvement within a whole year. We need to support education staff with minimising the amount of time they are spending on non-teaching tasks. Working long hours can interfere with the balance between home and work lives, causing us to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Although we cannot change the job role requirements for those working in the education sector, there are ways to prioritise tasks to prevent us getting overwhelmed and burned out.We would like to offer some support and advice on how we at Kent-Teach manage our own workload:Becki – Digital Marketing Executive I always plan out my week first thing on a Monday morning. I use a weekly to-do planner that includes space for each day so that I can clearly see my week at a glance. I make sure to not schedule too much work for one day to allow for any unplanned incoming tasks and I keep track of meetings and deadlines in my Outlook calendar.Becky- Education Recruitment Advisor I start my Monday mornings by creating a to do list in order of priority and I tick each task off as I complete it throughout the day. At the end of the day I create another to do list for my next working day so when I am back in the office, I already know the tasks I need to complete. Since working part-time, I have definitely found I am more efficient and can manage my time effectively as I am able to focus on critical tasks and allow non-essential pieces of work to go on the back burner so I don’t feel overwhelmed. My best tip is to not feel like you need to reply to every email straight away or complete everything that day, focus on the most important things or work that is time sensitive. Elliot – Kent-Teach Team Manager I use a To Do list app that I have on my computer and my phone, which whenever I get a task I will add to it (sometimes in the middle of the night when it pops into my head!). When I’m done, I tick it off my list (which is really great as it makes a ‘ting’ noise!).Louis – Kent-Teach Apprentice In order for me to continue meeting deadlines and staying on top of my workload, I make sure I keep a record of all the tasks in my calendar, set a reminder for Friday afternoon to check my calendar for the next coming weeks so I don’t find myself scrambling on Monday morning. I try to do the most urgent or pressing tasks first rather than wasting time on smaller tasks which are due well in the future and ending up behind on the ones that should have already been started. Staying organised and ahead of schedule is the easiest way in my opinion to stay on track.Nikita – Education Recruitment Advisor I always complete a quick tick list the night before, so I know exactly what to prioritise first thing in the morning. I set myself realistic expectations so I’m not disappointed at the end of the working week and I’ll ask for support from other members at Kent-Teach if I’m struggling to complete a task on time. With the ongoing pressure of increasing workloads on all education staff and teachers in particular, it is vital that good strategies for managing workload are put in place and that everyone has the opportunity to practice some self-care to help alleviate stress and reduce the chances of burnout. Mental Health First Aid training is another great way to understand the effects that poor mental health such as stress and anxiety can have. It also gives us the tools to be able to recognise them in both ourselves and our colleagues as well as a range of practical support methods to enable supporting others and ourselves.To find out more about Mental Health First Aid training, its benefits and how to book onto one of our accredited course you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://cantium.solutions/insight/the-value-of-mental-health-training-in-the-workplaceEducation Support offer practical techniques for teachers and education staff on how to handle stress. If you work in the education sector and have guidance for managing workload please get in touch with us, we’d love to share your advice with others! Are you interested in blogging for Kent-Teach? on an ad-hoc basis or more frequently, get in touch with us on Kent.email@example.com or call 03000 410203.