Planning Makes For Less Work!
By Stephanie Bertran, ERG Coach
While growing up, I learned that planning was an important skill in my family. Unfortunately, this was not a natural gift of mine. After watching my family members implement planning and prioritizing in their daily lives, however, I realized just how important it was. When I began working at the ERG, I was introduced to many different ways to plan and prioritize. Being a visual person, I really appreciated the different charts, lists, and planners that can be used to break a to-do list into very clear steps.
My favorite tool is the Planning and Prioritizing list. This sheet allows for the student to write down their to-do list on the left side and then to re-write it on the right side in order of importance. Since most people do not think of things they have to do in a prioritized order, but rather in random patterns, this chart allows them to maintain their natural way of thinking. Most importantly, it helps train the student to recognize the most important items and prioritize them. Even though I am no longer in school, I still find charts and lists like these extremely helpful in my busy life.
I really enjoy being able to sit down and work with a student who struggles with these skills. I love showing them how to organize their overwhelming to-do lists and watching the discouragement and despair slowly melt away. A lot of times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to remember everything that has to be done and when the deadlines are. Just writing everything down in an organized manner can often take a lot of the pressure off. It becomes more manageable when it is on a physical list rather than just in your head.
As the school year gets busier and busier, these skills of planning and prioritizing become even more valuable. Prioritizing is a skill that needs to be taught. People are not just born with the amazing ability to plan and prioritize their day or week. This is something that must be learned and practiced. All of our students have the ability to organize their life and stay on top of their schedule, they just need someone to help guide them in the right direction. I find it very rewarding to be able to share this valuable skill with my students.