Making the Time: Barb Leyne

 Welcome and thank you to my dear friend Barb from 
Hi there!  I'm Barb from Grade ONEderful and Ruby Slippers Designs.

I'm thrilled that Kimberley has asked me to guest post on her blog because I have great respect for everything she does and says.  She asked me to write about the ways in which I manage my time.
I've been thinking about this for a while because in some respects I consider myself extremely organized but in others, not so much. My blog posts, for example, tend to be higglety pigglety.

Before I let you know what helps me the most, though, let me give you a brief background about myself. Because this definitely ties in to how I prioritize and manage my time.

FIRSTLY, I'm not the mom of young kids. I USED to be but they're all grown up now, so naturally I don't have that distraction. 

I am, however, a full-time Grade 1 teacher and a part-time blog designer and avid runner, so my days are very full.

Here's how I do it:

1. First thing every morning I sit in bed with my chai tea latte for 30 minutes and read/answer my emails.

2. At school I tend to avoid anything other than school, but I have to admit I check my emails a lot (during recess and lunch only :)).

3. After the kids have left for the day I get ready for the next day. Everything is done before I leave 'cause I don't like doing school stuff at home. Also, it's really hard for me to get up in the morning and I usually arrive 10 minutes before the bell. So yeah, everything has to be ready to go.  

4. When I get home from school I RELAX by going for a run and/or sitting in front of the computer and blogging and/or designing.

5. My husband LOVES to cook (that's how he relaxes), so obviously that helps, too. But I do the clean-up, so typically I'm back in front of the computer around 8:30 or 9:00.  I'm a night owl, so sometimes I'm up 'til after midnight working on designs or blog posts. Sandi from rubber boots and elf shoes can attest to this 'cause we're sometimes emailing each other, or commenting on each other's blogs late late at night.

BUT WAIT! There's more. 

I've been teaching for 23 years so it doesn't take me as long to prep for the next day as it used to. Also, I'm not big into worksheet type activities so I don't usually have a lot of photocopying to do. Instead we use exercise books and individual whiteboards.  

I also don't spend time making a lot of games and laminating (I do occasionally, but not much) cause I don't like spending more time making activities for the kids than they'll actually spend doing them. You know what I mean? I just don't think that's a good use of my time....but that's what works for me (everyone needs to find their own comfort zone).

Secondly, I have a couple of apps I can't live without!  I use Wunderlist to keep track of all my different projects, my design clients, my daily to-do lists, book recommendations, that kind of thing.

The other app I LOVE is Evernote. I use the free version and it's amazing. I have pages and pages of my design notes in there, plus ALL of my school notes, including my day plan.  

Those two apps, alone, which I have on my iphone, ipad, laptop and desktop, have saved me tons of time and have helped keep me on the straight and narrow.

And finally, I don't spend a huge amount of time on pinterest, facebook or twitter. I like them all just fine :)  but it's way too easy to lose myself down the rabbit hole. I mean hours, if not days, can just disappear when I get sucked in. It's scary! I try really hard to monitor my time with social media.

That's about it! Hopefully that helps someone, but if not, at the very least I hope you look into Wunderlist and/or Evernote. They are seriously great time-savers.

Thanks, Kimberley!


  1. Love your last point about social media! Way to easy to waste time there! Also I feel like I'm getting a little better every year preparing for the next day. Last year was my fifth year, first in second grade, and I was still able to leave at a reasonable time each day! So different from my 'first' first about late nights--at school. Ugh! I'm learning though! Hooray!

    Teaching Little Miracles

  2. Thanks for sharing your system, Barb! And thanks for having her, Kimberley :) Time management is a very tricky area for me - one I'm constantly trying to improve on - so I'm very interested in knowing what works well for others!

  3. Photocopying, making games, laminating - these are things I don't spend time doing either. I do though work at home. If it's something I can do on my couch under a blanket, I'd rather do it there than at school. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  4. I have to get Evernote figured out. Maybe Barb can give me a tutorial - late at night!!