One thing I know for sure is that your to-do list is a mile long. Welcome to being a teacher! The thing is that you will always have a to-do list, but the key to managing all these things is to prioritize. So, here's an easy way to do this. If your tasks fall in any of these three categories, they have priority and should be done today or scheduled for the very near future, i.e., this week.
Tasks that will have a direct impact on student learning versus decorative ones that won't. We all want "cute" classrooms, but they are NOT a priority.
Tasks that must be done today. For example, returning parent phone calls or emails. These should be done as soon as possible (meaning today). Tasks that are part of what you will be teaching tomorrow. Don't wait until the morning of the lesson to get things done.
Tasks that must be done by the end of the week. For example, next week's plans and materials, graded papers to be sent home, and newsletters. Use a planner- any kind will do, Target has inexpensive ones that work perfectly - to schedule out a few tasks per day so that they are finished by the end of the week. If the task repeats each week, schedule it the same day and time every week if possible.
If your task does not fall into one of these categories, it gets moved down the list and you can get to it when you have time. At the end of the day, re-write your list and place your tasks in order of importance based on these three categories. This will help you focus on what's most important.
Remember...you are a teacher at the beginning of your journey. You are not expected to have it all mastered, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself to "get it all done".
If you are a new teacher and have topics you would like to read about, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!