My First Week Back and the Giveaway Round-Up


Wow oh wow. You guys are seriously amazing. Really though! I received over 200 (!) entries in response to the giveaway for The Simplified Coaching Planner. So many of you offered super smart and insightful Top Planning Tips that couldn’t have come through at a better time for me.

Last week was my first full week back at school, and man was it a busy one. No kids until this week, but we had a full week of PD with teachers, so I felt like a classroom teacher: greeting, planning for, and working with her students their first week back. Phew. Anyhow, I found myself with a bit of free time on Wednesday night, so I plopped down on the coach, opened my laptop, and started reading through all of the submitted planning tips. As I read, I found myself thinking, “That’s right!” or “I should do that!” and “Why am I not doing that?” then finally, “Kristin, you’ve got to get it together girl.” This last thought came from the fact that this past week wouldn’t exactly go down in the record books as being one of my most organized. To give myself some credit, it wasn’t that bad, but I did some pretty scatterbrained things like forgetting to put on my mascara one morning and then forgetting my laptop the next morning. I know. The forgetting my computer morning wasn’t great.

But luckily I had you guys and your Top Planning Tips to help me get back on track! Here’s a synthesis of my reminders/take-aways:

Schedule & Plan

  • Make a weekly ritual with yourself to plan for the week ahead. Then set aside some time at the end of the day to check in on your plan, do a brain dump, then plan for the next day. This is a tip a lot of us know to do, but how many of us consistently do it? Maybe if I had been a bit better about this last week, I wouldn’t have had the “I forgot my computer” morning.
  • Put it on your calendar…immediately. Don’t think you’ll remember to do it later.
  • Color coding can be helpful for your calendar and in lots of other ways!
  • Share your schedule with your coachees.

Organize and Prioritize

This was a big one.

  • Get some organizational systems together sooner than later, then work your systems. Organization and efficient systems prevent the dreaded overwhelm, large paper piles, and other back-up.
  • Keep everything together in one convenient place.
  • You’ve got to prioritize. You’ll have a lot going on at school and at home when the year gets started. Determine what’s most important and reduce the time you spend on what’s not.


I had a hard time with this one this week.

  • Be realistic with yourself and what you can get checked off of your to-do list each day.
  • Write it down. Avoid multi-tasking.
  • Carry your planner or a journal or a piece of paper with you everywhere.

Accept Imperfection

This was probably my most important lesson this week. As much as we might really, really want to be…we’re not superheroes. We’re not always going to be perfect and that’s okay. Sometimes, no matter how much planning we do, things don’t go according to plan. Actually, this happens a lot. Flexibility, reflection, and revision are always key ingredients to successful days and weeks.

So now…

I’m ready for a fresh start this week. And I’ll bet that if we all practice these planning principles throughout the year, we’ve got a pretty darn good shot at a great year.

But wait!

There’s more. You know how I said earlier this was just a synthesis of all the great Top Planning Tips I received? It just wouldn’t be fair of me to keep them all to myself. Which is why I’ll be sharing them with you later this week in another post…hang tight!

READ: 31 Top Planning Tips Post

I hope you all have a great start to the school year and I’m really excited to continue learning and growing with you here on the blog.

If you have a Top Planning Tip that you weren’t able to submit in the giveaway and are dying to share, please share in the comments below.

Thanks for all your support and have a great week!




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4 Responses to “My First Week Back and the Giveaway Round-Up”

  1. Lynn T August 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    Kristin, Thank you for such fantastic ideas! I’m so happy have stumbled upon your websIte. Did you ever think of making a Digital copy of your planner? It would be awesome for those that have i-pads.
    Have a great school Year!

    • Kristin Houser August 13, 2014 at 5:40 am #

      Hi Lynn! Thank you so much, I’m so glad we found each other :) I often dream of making a digital planner for teachers/coaches…maybe that could be my next project? :) Have a great year!

  2. Ashley Y August 12, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    Kristin, Love this site, I have shared it with all my reading coaches in the district and they love it too! I don’t know if anyone shared this earlier, but I use the “Tickler” files suggested by David Allen in his book. I do mine slightly different though, I have made one folder for each month, I keep them within reach on a shelf above my desk so they do not clutter my desk but are close at hand. If I receive something I don’t need right now but might be needed or useful at a later date I put it in that month’s folder, or if I have an idea I want to save I write it on a sticky note and place it inside the folder. I can’t do the every day folders, it was too much for me to keep up with! At the beginning of each month I open it, and sometimes I find really great things I had forgotten about and that always makes me happy. :-)

    • Kristin Houser August 13, 2014 at 5:45 am #

      Hi Ashley! Thanks so much for sharing…no one has yet mentioned the Tickler files idea! I love David Allen too, and I keep telling myself I should get my Tickler files going, but I haven’t yet. Monthly files are the best idea ever!…I totally think I’m going to get those going this month. And keep them near my desk, not inside my filing system so I don’t forget about them. Thanks Ashley!

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