Who better to help you manage your time than two nerds from Google?
In Make Time, Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky go beyond your normal time management book, though. Listening them share the content of their book is even better than just reading it, because you get a real taste for their personalities and it makes the content that much more fun.
Why am I suggesting this book when there are, like, a bazillion time management gurus and books out there? The answer lies in their subtitle: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day. Yeah. Because if anyone ever had to work out work-life balance, it would be Jake and John. Also, because their advice is very down-to-earth and they offer way more things to try than any one person will ever need - which means some of their suggestions will be just right for you.
As an educator, I can tell you my work was never, ever, ever done. I'm shocked that the younger of my two sons has embraced teaching, or that my older son even toys with the idea, because they both witnessed the countless hours I invested in the classes I taught as they were growing up. You'd think they would run for the hills if the prospect of teaching came up. But not so.
If you are a teacher, or a parent who is teaching your kids at home, the ideas Jake and John share could just help you find your own balance, allowing you to be effective as a teacher/parent while hanging onto the things that matter (like your family).
Some of their ideas also mesh with other purveyors of good advice, like Jeff Haden. For example, the idea of setting one goal per day that will be the thing you will accomplish that day - and then celebrating it when you do, meshes well with Haden's ideas about creating a process and working the process, finding happiness in completing the smaller goals that will inevitably lead to you achieving your bigger goals.
Use four steps to help you to create time for the things you care about. Sounds easy, right? Except these authors share over eighty separate things you can to to accomplish that. Right. Well, they are eighty-plus pretty good ideas, and they give you choices - like, no one expects anyone to do all eighty of them. So, pick the ideas that work for you.
Jake and John suggest four daily steps: Highlight, Laser, Energize, Reflect.
Highlight: Choose a single highlight (activity) to prioritize in your day around a thing that matters to you (This is the idea that reminds me of Haden's advice about smaller steps that are part of your process).
Laser: Employ specific tactics to stay laser focused on that highlight and beat distractions. I liked what they had to say about not letting tech run your life. They also talk about FLOW. As a Csikszentmihalyi fan, I can totally get into that.
Energize: As in, take care of your mind and body so that you can use the body to recharge the brain. Throughout the day build energy so you can stay in control of your time.
Reflect: The authors suggest ending the day with a gratitude ritual, looking back through the day through a grateful lens. Before you go to bed, take some notes. Decide which tactics you want to continue and which ones to refine or drop. Adjust and Improve your system to customize a system tailored to you
Sounds easy, right? Of course, I'm joking. This takes some effort; however, if you are teaching (at home or in a school) these ideas could very well save you from burning out, becoming unbalanced, and losing the things that are important to you because of the tyranny of the urgent and addictive technology.