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Educating Others
Weekly Planner

Time Management (Eating The Elephant?)

Do you (and your students) always feel like you have more to do than hours in which to get it done? Do you often feel like you are running out of time? Well, as Black explained to Red, you can eat an elephant, just not in one sitting. After Red finished rolling her eyes and wondering where Black comes up with these analogies, Black explained that time management is a function of breaking down "the big picture" into smaller, more manageable pieces. And suggested using a combination of monthly calendars, weekly planners, and daily "tasks." Red really wanted one specific way to do it, but Black told her that there is no one method/form/system that works best for everyone, as it is a matter of personal preference.

Chapter 9 of What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired! goes into great detail about time management. The key, which we often highlight at our speaking engagements, is focusing on the thought process, versus the specific method. Black often "dares" people to use our "Green Sheets" (they were initially developed to track how you spend your money) to track how you spend your time. She thinks that you may find some surprises – as well as some easy ways to find (recapture) more hours in the day

Weekly Planner

If you ask Red what she does when she gets really stressed out about running out of hours in the day, she will tell you that she takes a deep breath, and remembers one of THE best pieces of advice that Black ever gave her. And she even remembers how it resonated with the students at KIPP.  It has to do with weekly planners.

Black recommends that you look at the week in columns so that you can see where there are commitments (whether specific appointments, meetings, classes, scheduled extra curricula activities, etc.) which then allows you to easily visualize where you have "open blocks of time" available. (Most people focus on tasks, not on what the best time is to do them.) She created a blank form on Excel to illustrate her "thinking" process. As a result, many people have asked where to find it, so just click … "Red & Black's Weekly Planner."

This one simple thing helps Red look at time in a completely different way and has made all the difference in her plans for the week. Hopefully, it will help you, too.