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Finding a Balance and Avoid Burnout Using a To-Do List... Strategically! - Digital ATDN - 4/8/2022

Tech Grant Updates

Welcome to our Newsletter! Please read the list below to see this month's updates related to the website and the deliverables.

  • The On-Demand Video App from Digital ATDN has reached a total of 200 videos! The update will be available later today. All videos are organized by program and include a shorter description to indicate the task it will assist you with. Please note that this app is not available in Google's Play store or Apple's Appstore. Use the link below to add the web app to your phone:

  • We have a list of sessions available for you to watch on our website. You can request access by accessing our Past Recordings page and clicking on the session you would like to view. This would give you access to the recording, handouts and the discussion boards where you can ask questions or share your experiences with the topics discussed.

  • We have an upcoming PD on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 titled Forms for Student Onboarding, Exit Tickets and Feedback with Shelly Leduke from 10:45 AM to 12:15 PM. Click here to register

  • The Connecticut Adult Educator's Forum was released through Canvas during the Program Facilitator's meeting on Thursday, March 17, 2021. Click here to fill out the Google Form to request access if you haven't done so yet.

  • You can schedule an appointment with tech support to receive assistance in instructional programs or in any of the resources that we have available on the website. Click here to schedule your appointment.


Resource Spotlight


This project was created from the Adult Education and Literacy division of the Texas Workforce Commission during the pandemic. The focus is to offer contextualized video lessons and resources for Adult Students and Instructions. The AdultEdMed website includes a total of 40 short video lessons that focus on developing applied occupational skills in 4 different subject areas: ESL, Workforce/Technology, Reading Language Arts and Math.

The project introduces a fictitious hospital called the Adult Ed Med, which is currently under construction to include another wing and provide several job opportunities. You can choose between 5 learners that are interested in working on different occupations that Adult Ed Med will be providing. I highly recommend watching the introduction video of each of the learners. Each learner's page includes:

  • A video introduction to a learner

  • The occupation the learner is interested in

  • The list of skills they need to develop to be successful in the occupation

  • The video lessons in English or Spanish

  • A list of resources for teachers in Wakelet that include lessons plans, videos and other resources

  • A list of resources for students in Wakelet that include videos that help develop the skills, practice among others

The highlights of this project are the videos from the learners and how the lessons include the context of which the skills can be applied. You can check the About section for more information regarding the project and how to use the resources included in the classroom.


Finding a Balance and Avoid Burnout Using a To-Do List... Strategically!

This week’s newsletter topic fits well with the Spring break theme in April to help us recharge and recalibrate for the remainder of the school year. This is very important to avoid burnout and stay mentally healthy. What I am about to share has worked for me and my current workflow. That being said, your process may be different. Feel free to share in the comments what has worked for you. Let's promote a healthy mindset!

The process of balancing and completing our tasks and goals can draining, specially when we have several tasks that require a significant amount of effort to complete. I like to compare this process to the relationship a learner has with learning and cognitive demand, which is used to gauge the amount of effort and intention you need to learn something. The more difficult the process is, the higher the cognitive demand will be, or in our case, the more energy we expend. As educators and practitioners in education, we have the habit to exceed our energy output, which increases the chance of experiencing burnout.

As someone that experiences this on a regular basis, as well as having two girls that have an unlimited supply of energy, I needed to find a way to organize myself with the goal to lower my stress and have energy when I'm home. While I have used To-Do Lists in the past, I haven't necessarily been successful. It was the need to find a balance during the shutdown that I found a system that worked. It not only helped me stay on task through the many tasks that needed to be completed throughout the day, but it gave me a sense of relief that I didn't felt before.

I have been using a hybrid between a notebook and a digital to-do-list app called Todoist. Here are 3 ways I have been using these to lower my stress, stay focused, and decompress at the end of the day.

Spend 5 minutes to write out what you plan to do for the day. This process of writing it out does more than to allow you to organize and anticipate your day. It is more like unpacking your backpack and taking what you need at a given time versus carrying your backpack everywhere you go. I’ll add and cross off items on the list throughout the day and by the end of the day, I transfer and schedule any outstanding tasks to my Todoist. I like to include links to documents (from Google Drive), resources or websites that I would like to catch up on on a later time. You also have the flexibility to add due dates to tasks if they need to be done at a specific timeframe. This has allowed me to decompress and not worry about the tasks left for the next day.

Use sections to categorize your tasks. The goal is to break down what you need to do in steps. Think about it like a lesson objective where you would have a specific action that you need to complete. Todoist offers 5 projects on the free version however, you can create your work project and have topics where you can nest your tasks. Each task allows you to add sub tasks that come in handy when you need to be specific, especially on those big tasks that require multiple steps. Each task has a comments section that you can use to go over your progress, list anything that you are waiting for to continue the task or even use as a journal entry.

Download the app on your phone. The purpose is to quickly jot down your thoughts or task on the app, set a deadline for the date and time you will be ready to work on it, and put the app away. I have a section that is called "Tasks" where I solely enter anything that comes up. It is important to avoid trying to figure out where it fits, that is the reason why you set the deadline, to figure that piece out at that assigned time. It is from experience that some of the best ideas arise when you least expect it. I have found myself coming up with an idea during my daughter’s karate session, in a line at the grocery store or when visiting friends and family. Before this process I had two go-tos: I would work on it when as soon as I got home, or I would worry about it all weekend until I was ready to work on the task. Now I just take my phone, write the task down and set the deadline. This has allowed me to not pre-occupy my mind with tasks that will take place later in the day or few days from now. I can truly say that the last time I felt like this was back in college when I would put my backpack full of college books down after a full day of classes!

Sometimes, the best way to deal with yourself is to treat "you" as third person so you can treat "you" with the same passion and dedication as you treat others. Enjoy the well deserved break!

Feel free to reach out to or comment below if you would like more information on how I use Todoist or to use any other tech tool routines in your classroom.


Apr 25, 2022

As we moved into the last stretch of the school year, it is normal to start feeling a bit burned out. Unlike previous years, since the pandemic started the rate of burnout has not subside especially because additional non-stop tasks have been added to the workload, and most activities or tasks have to be duplicated in both paper and digital form.

I tend to make a to-do list for my work and college task on paper and on my phone on Samsung Notes. Will be trying Todoist to have everything in one place to see if it lowers the level of anxiety that has been taking over these days. Thank you for the tips I really need it. 😉


Apr 08, 2022

I make a to-do list daily! Thanks for the tips!😀

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