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Time Management Tips for Teachers That Will Rock Your World

Photo by Tailor Flowe

⌛ What Is Time Management?

Time management is a hot topic these days. Everyone seems to be looking for ways to make better use of their time. But what is time management, exactly?

🍓 Main Benefits of Teacher Time Management

  1. More time for teaching. By carefully planning your time, you will waste less of it on things like looking for lost materials or dealing with disruptions. Instead, you will ensure that you have more time for the thing that matters most — teaching.
  2. Optimal work-life balance. Good time management skills help to strike a better balance between your work and personal life. Proper planning and control will reduce your stress levels to a large degree. As a consequence, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your overall well-being.
  3. Better student outcomes. When teachers manage their time effectively, it can lead to improved student outcomes as well. This is because you get more time available for things like lesson planning and preparation, which can result in more engaging and effective lessons.
  4. Greater job satisfaction. Time management empowers you to accomplish more and make a real difference in your students’ lives. And when you feel like you’re in control of your time and everything is more organized, you begin to enjoy the process more, and your job satisfaction naturally increases.
  5. Higher productivity. Thanks to time management, your concentration and well-being can get much better than in the lack of good organization. And when you’re energized, able to focus on one task and give it your full attention, you’ll be amazed at how much more quickly and easily the work gets done.

👨‍🏫 Time Management Tips for Teachers

As you can see, teacher time management is key. Yet, with so many things to do and so little time, it can be tough to figure out how to get it all done. Here are a few tips for you to start:

📍 Set priorities

There are a million and one things that you have to do in a day as a teacher. So, it can sometimes feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions. But luckily, there’s one proven trick to help you cope with overwhelming workloads and make sure that everything gets done — task prioritization.

  1. Prioritize your list. Urgent and most important tasks should be at the top, followed by the less important ones.
  2. Take care of the most important and urgent tasks first. If there’s something that needs to be done right away, don’t put it off. Handle it and then move on to the next task on your list.
  3. Break up big tasks into smaller ones. If you have a big project that’s due soon, break it up into smaller tasks so that you can focus on one thing at a time. This will make it easier for you to understand where to start and handle the whole project.

📅 Make a schedule

The next step is to find the right time during the day to focus on your priorities and other tasks from the list. And that’s where a thought-through work schedule can help.

  1. Start creating the schedule. Don’t forget about your priorities and schedule them earlier in the day if possible.
  2. Allocate some time for breaks. It’s important to take a few minutes here and there to relax and recharge. So, step away from your desk for a few minutes every couple of hours to stretch your legs, grab a cup of coffee, or just take a few deep breaths. This way, you’ll enhance productivity and cognitive function.
  3. Stick to your schedule as much as possible. It won’t be perfect, but if you can stick to it most of the time, you’ll feel more accomplished and less stressed overall.

🔕 Minimize distractions

As a teacher, you’re well aware that distractions are the worst enemies of productivity.

  • Mute your phone and block social media. This will prevent you from accidentally stumbling onto Facebook or Twitter when you’re trying to work. Instead of wasting time scrolling through your newsfeed, you’ll be able to stay concentrated on the task at hand.
  • Block out external noise. If you find yourself getting distracted by noises while doing paperwork or grading students’ tests, try wearing headphones. Listening to relaxing music or white noise helps to improve concentration and focus on what must be done.

🤯 Avoid multitasking

The ability to multitask is often heralded as a desirable skill, but in reality, it can be detrimental to your productivity. When you try to do too many things at once, your brain becomes overloaded, and you start making mistakes. In addition, multitasking can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress.

⏲️ Track your time

How many times have you wished you had a time machine? If only you could go back and spend more time preparing a lesson or less time watching TV. Time tracking can’t give you a time machine, but it can give you the next best thing: a way to improve your time management.

🗝️ Best Time Management Techniques

Need some more inspiration to work on your time management skills? Here are a few fantastic techniques to help you advance them:

🧱 Time blocking

The basic idea behind this technique is to divvy up your day into blocks of time and then use each block to focus on a specific task. For example, you might block off an hour in the morning to answer emails, two hours in the afternoon to prepare new materials for a lesson, and an hour in the evening to relax.

🐸 Eat the frog

Mark Twain famously said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” While this may not be the most appetizing way to start your day, there’s a lot of truth to Twain’s words:

Covey’s time management matrix

Stephen Covey’s time management matrix is a quadrant system that helps you prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.

  • Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent (tasks that should be scheduled)
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important (tasks that can be delegated or outsourced)
  • Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important (tasks that can be eliminated)

✨ That’s a Wrap!

It often seems that there are never enough hours in the day. From lesson planning and grading to after-school activities and parent-teacher conferences, the list of things to do always seems to be growing.

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