It's no secret that I love tech. It's also no secret that I am always on the eternal search to find and maintain balance in life. So why not put the two together? Luckily, there are some amazing tech tools that can be utilized to help us to maintain a sense of balance in several ways.
Automation with IFTTT and Zapier
The first category to help make our lives simple is the automation category and heading up that category is IFTTT (if this, then that) and Zapier. Both of these Web 2.0 tools can be used to link Web products so that when we do one thing online, another automatically happens. For example, my lesson plans are all in Evernote so that I can keep them with me and change them on the fly. I have them linked to a Google Calendar as well. Each week, I put a new event in my Google Calendar that is labeled Lesson Plans. Within 15 minutes, there is a new note in my Evernote with my weekly Lesson Plan template filled in and named ready for me to finish up my lesson plan. This process saves me at least 20 minutes each week. I also get reminders each week automatically to do my lesson plans, weekly emails to parents, and weekly blog posts. All of this I set up once and is now done automatically by utilizing one of the two services (IFTTT or Zapier). Not having to remember this stuff on my own relieves a ton of stress and I know that it will get done!!
To Do Apps
There are many To do Apps out there to use. The most important thing is to find one that works with the way your brain functions and, if you decide to use an Automation service, that works with whichever service you use. The app I like to use is call Do It Tomorrow because many of the tasks I do I do on a daily basis. This enables me to do my task for the day and then push it off until tomorrow so that I remember to do it tomorrow. This app syncs with Google Tasks so I just needed to make sure my Automation service synced with Google Tasks (it's a 2 step sync but it works nicely for me).
I am a big proponent of a daily mediation practice. I try to use a guided meditation before bed each night and use one of the many free meditation apps available for ios or android to help relieve stress on a regular basis. Research has found that with regular practice, meditation can help to bring down blood pressure and stress levels which is helpful to anyone with a stressful work/personal life (pretty much anyone in the education field). This also helps us to take a step back and to not take everything that happens in the school day home with us.