"To follow, without halt, one aim: There's the secret of success." ~Anna Pavlova
Jim Temme, in Productivity Power, says we need to "strive for success through meaningful results." How do we decide what meaningful results means?
I have a tendency to think everything I do is as equally urgent and important as the next.
**For example: Cleaning the house is just as important and urgent as changing Jim's diaper.
Can you guess what happens then?
Disaster: I took Jim's diaper off and then started polishing the table. Then I remembered I needed to finish changing him, but he peed all over the changing table. Now I have a peed on changing table, an unfinished polished table and an unfinished diaper change. Not so successful.
Results: Now, I am even more stressed out. This happened because I couldn't focus on changing Jim's diaper.
What I should have done: I stop and say, Jim's diaper is more important and urgent. Change Jim's diaper completely and be successful at it. Then move to polishing the table, the less important and urgent task.
Meaningful Results: Complete Diaper Change = Success. Complete Polished Table = Success. Avoiding Potential Mishaps = Success.
**Please note, as I am sure you know this example is an exaggeration and not true but you get the point and maybe even a giggle.
There are many ways to prioritize and some child care providers had some great suggestions on how to do this:
Kay Gillock • I prioritize by what has to be done for the children first, then paperwork/computer work, then everything else. I figure if I am not prepared for the kids nothing else matters. I keep a daily calendar and put everything I need to do on there then number each one. This list could include things for the child care, home, family, our local providers association, etc.
Linda Muller • The first thing I do in planning my day is knowing who is going to be in my care that day. Being a family daycare provider, my days vary with parent's schedules. So my activities for each day vary with who is going to be there as I have kids in my care from 8 months of age to 8 years of age right now. The first priority always has to be that everyone is cared for and fed. I try to plan activities for each day, but those don't always happen if there is a child that is needy that day.
Laura Kenworthy • As many have said, the basic needs of the kids comes first, eating most importantly, and then learning and play, which go hand in hand. I also like to foster a sense of ownership and so the kids each have their own responsibilities right after breakfast (cleaning up) before they head off for the first bit of free play. I figure that taking care of the kids is first and so business paperwork and such doesn't get taken care of until nap/rest time or after daycare. We spend a lot of time in learning play and child-guided learning so most of the day is taken up with those very basic but important activities.
Cynthia McConniel • We have a tentative schedule that is followed pretty much the same every day. This schedule is given to my parents in their handbook so they know basically how their child's day will go. Often times parents will kind of follow the schedule even at home. The numbers of kids we have varies somewhat and of course there is the weather factor but for the most part pretty much always eat breakfast at this time, have free time at this time, we do school after breakfast cleanup, naps are after lunch, story time is after snack unless the weather is good then we are outside. Prep time and cleanup is done after daycare. I am fortunate enough to have my husband as my business partner he takes care of all the record keeping when he is not playing with kids or changing diapers.
Resource: Temme, J. (1993). Productivity Power:250 Great Ideas for Being More Productive. Mission: SkillPath Publications.