How do we reclaim our time as instructional designers?

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

Let's be clear: I have no idea how to reclaim our time. I'm in the middle of trying to figure it out and would love to commiserate/learn alongside you!

Prior to this role, I was an 8th grade teacher and an academic advisor. In both roles, my time was never my own and I went in to every day fully aware of that.

In the classroom, I knew that from when the doors opened to when they shut, my time was theirs. It wasn't anything I dreaded, it was just a fact. It was tiring and took careful planning. When I went home at night, I kept working and in the mornings I went in early to get copies made. I was never under the assumption that I would be able to accomplish what I needed during the students time.

As an academic advisor, it was the same way. I had hours that I was available for walk ins and I had hours that were available for scheduled appointments. Either way, I never banked on getting specific tasks or projects done within those hours because the time wasn't mine, it was the students. If I wanted to get things done, I would block it on my calendar and it would be honored.

In my current role as an instructional designer, the role of uninterrupted work time is much more important. I've recently stumbled upon the concept of makers vs managers schedules and have been trying to find specific strategies to match my "maker" time needs.

This new calendar landscape begs the question: when does the work get done? How do other instructional designers balance their meetings with their tactile work?