Strategies for teachers to manage their time


Get more done in less time


Teachers today are busy.


You're working harder and harder, but you're not getting as much done as you'd like. And it seems like there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.


The frenzied feeling you have when you have a lot to do and little time to do it is your brain trying to tell you something: your time management skills need some improvement.


With these tips for better time management, you'll be able to balance your job as a teacher with managing your other responsibilities — from family to side projects — as well as any other personal goals you may have.


1. Plan your day effectively to maximize productivity


In order to be as productive as possible, it’s important that you learn how to plan your day ahead of time. In fact, if you want to get even more things done in less time, then it’s important that you also learn how to prioritize. The two go hand in hand and if you don’t understand this, then you’ll likely find yourself grinding your gears and making no progress at all.


With so many tasks to complete and so little time to spare, it is essential to prioritize and plan your day effectively. This will help you get more done in less time.


The best way to start your day is by prioritizing the activities that you must complete and scheduling them for the most effective time of the day. You can’t just wake up and decide what you want to accomplish that day and then try to accomplish everything at once. That’s not going to work and it’s just going to lead to stress and burnout.


Instead, create a detailed schedule for the entire week. Then each day, plan out your tasks for that day based on the schedule for the week. Don’t try to take on too much, but instead focus on the tasks that are the most important first. Then, move on to the less important tasks.


2. Set aside time for yourself each day to ensure you don't burn out.


Time management is a method of planning and controlling the amount of time spent on specific tasks and activities during a given period.


When we feel overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to complete, it's tempting to work longer hours or put in more effort. But working too much and pushing yourself to the limit can be dangerous to your health and your career. It can negatively impact the quality of your work.


When you're feeling frazzled and overworked, it may seem like there's no way out. You may feel like there are too many things that need doing, not enough time in the day, and not enough energy left at the end of each day to get everything done.


Time management techniques can help you achieve balance in your life. They'll help you prioritize your tasks so that you can get more done in less time with higher quality. You'll also learn how to avoid procrastination and needless stressors so that you can make morefruitful use of your time.


Working too much and pushing yourself to the limit can be dangerous to your health and your career. It can negatively impact the quality of your work. Set aside time for yourself each day to ensure you’re not burning out and you’re performing at your peak.


3. Focus on one task at a time to avoid wasting time through multi-tasking (a myth).


You've been operating under a myth called multi-tasking, which has been sold to us by the productivity sirens. Multi-tasking is a myth. The truth is that our brains don’t work well when we’re trying to do several things at once.


We can’t do two things at once, but we can switch between tasks quickly and frequently. This allows us to make progress on multiple fronts at the same time, which helps us feel more productive even though we aren’t getting much more done.


But this strategy doesn't make sense if one of those fronts requires a lot of focused attention—like grading essays or preparing lesson plans—like preparing for class or responding to emails. In these cases, multi-tasking is a myth.


We don’t work well when we’re trying to do several things at once. When we’re doing one task at a time, we learn and work better because the focus is on one main objective. This makes it more difficult for distractions and resistance to get in your way.


Focus on one task at a time, and when you’re finished, you can move on to the next thing.


4. Avoid distractions that keep you from getting things done


We have a limited amount of time, and we need to use it wisely. That's a basic fact of life, but it is also a fact that most people ignore in their daily lives. They waste time on trivial things, giving too much time to things that don't matter. Their days are full of distractions, and they never accomplish what they intend.


It is an old saw in time management that if you try to do everything, you will get nothing done. But the correlate is true too. If you spend your time on things that don't need doing, you also get nothing done.


The purpose of time management is not just to get more things done, but to get the right things done. So before we consider how to use our time better, let's consider what it is that we have to do, so we know what the "right" things are.


What teachers have to do can be roughly divided into three categories:

  1. Things that are necessary for students to learn

  2. Things that are necessary for teachers to teach well

  3. Things that are desirable but not necessary for either of these

The first category includes actions like grading papers and preparing lessons. The second category includes actions like planning lessons and preparing materials. The third category includes all the other stuff that comes up during a school year, including some work that needs doing even though it has no relationship at all to teaching or learning—like cleaning the classroom or patrolling hallways during passing period.


How about this for a simple strategy for getting more done in less time: spend less time doing things you don't need to do, or that aren't important. This might sound evident, but, just like students often don't realize how much time they spend on things that aren't particularly important, teachers do the same thing.


We go through our days distracted and unproductive and then wonder why our lives feel so rushed and hectic


You have a lot on your plate. Not only do you have to keep up with your students’ progress and ensure they are on the right track, but you need to keep up with your time; it is your most valuable resource. And even though you know this, there are days when it seems like it slips through your fingers like sand.


It's hard to master time management techniques, but not impossible. With a solid plan for better time management and the help of some guidance or coaching along the way, you can organize your life and become master of your schedule.