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Making the Last Half Hour Count

By Randy Gilmore

Do you rush around like mad trying to finish your workday? When you finally leave school, is it an hour later then you planned? Even so, do you feel like you are lagging behind? If this scenario sounds familiar, it is time to rethink your routine and make some changes that will end this exhausting cycle. Peace of mind may only be as far away as the re-organization of the last half hour of your workday. In addition, the following simple steps will contribute significantly to the productivity of your next workday.

STOP REGULAR WORK 30 MINUTES BEFORE YOU NEED TO LEAVE. That means no allowances for meetings, phone calls, emails, straightening the band room, putting instruments and music away, etc. Instead, take the last half hour of your day to review what you have accomplished that day. As you review your accomplishments, plan ahead for the next day and even into the next week. Taking time to reflect and plan will keep you feeling peaceful and organized for the next day.

“TO DO” WON’T DO. A “to-do” list is an intention. Scheduling time in your planner is a commitment. At the end of each day, set aside time in your planner for specific tasks you need to accomplish over the next few days.

PREPARE FOR TOMORROW. Don’t waste 20 minutes of your precious morning energy looking for a phone number or music scores. Write the names and numbers of calls that you need to make. Prepare and set aside your rehearsal materials for the next day.

CLEAN YOUR DESK. Stow files in their proper place, remove coffee mugs, discard trash and outdated papers or place items in the mail.

END THE DAY ON TIME. Staying late every day often indicates inefficiency more than a good work ethic, and eventually becomes depressing. Aside from emergencies, try to adhere to set hours. Doing so can also help you avoid feeling “burned out”.

BRING YOUR ORGANIZING HOME. Select the next day’s clothes, plan breakfast, pack lunches and so forth the night before. This will allow for a much more relax and peaceful morning, especially when every minute counts.

Randy Gilmore served ten years as a nationally recognized high school band director and assistant marching band director at West Chester University. Over the past 21 years Randy has developed Marching Show Concepts ( as a nationally known company for quality marching band products and exceptional one-to-one services. Randy exemplifies an expertise and standard of excellence that is well known and respected throughout the music industry. He is an accomplished clinician, adjudicator and drill designer who continues to display his talents in the MSC collection of products and services.