The top time management tips for teachers to make the most of their work day.
Working out how to cope with the pressures of modern life without putting yourself under too much stress is key to a good work-life balance. Everyone can benefit from learning how to manage their time more effectively: teachers, in particular, require excellent time management skills in order to balance their multiple responsibilities and duties while still leaving some time for themselves.
With marking assignments, writing lesson plans and writing reports to contend with, it makes sense to work out your priorities and regain control: whether in your personal life or in your classroom role, effective time management will help you to feel more focused, relaxed and able to achieve your goals. Read on to discover our top 5 time management tips for teachers:
1. Make the most of the latest weekly planner and calendar apps
Let’s face it, there are never enough hours in the day for everything that you need to get done so it makes sense to organise your time as effectively as possible. A simple yet powerful app such as iPhone Calendar makes it easier to manage your schedule and is very user-friendly while you can share Google calendar with colleagues to schedule events, separate your personal and work calendar and categorise your classes and subjects with colour coding.
You can even set it to auto-decline invitations to certain events – an easy way to ensure that work meetings don’t encroach onto your family time. Google calendar also allows you to see the weather forecast, always useful when planning outdoor activities in the UK! If you prefer to get things organised on paper, Twinkl offers a colourful weekly planner that is perfect for busy primary teachers.
2. Make a to-do list
A to-do list is every teacher’s friend but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed with a full page of to-do’s. Pick out the top three items on your agenda and focus on getting those done: at the end of the day, it’s far more satisfying to see the list all ticked off rather than only partially achieved.
To help you prioritise when creating your list, it’s also worth remembering the 3Ds:
• Do – urgent things that you must do
• Delegate – less pressing things that can be done by others
• Defer – things you can leave to do later
3. Schedule time for relaxation
Out of all time management tips for teachers, this may be the most important. Teachers are often the kind of people who want to give that bit extra and this means that they sometimes find it difficult to switch off from the job. It’s vital not to neglect the things that are really important in your life. If you are sleep deprived, not eating properly and not getting enough exercise, you will become stressed and be unable to give your best to your pupils.
As well as making sure that you get enough time for sleep and eating, we also mean setting aside dedicated amounts of time for family, socialising with friends, and exercise. When you are feeling overwhelmed with work, these essentials often take a back seat but by planning “time off” in your calendar, you are much more likely to be able to achieve a good balance.
4. Avoid procrastination
Just get on with it! As Edward Young said, “Procrastination is the thief of time” and this is as true today as ever. One of the most effective ways of changing your time management habits is to stop wasting time by doing things which you prefer doing and putting off things which are more difficult or boring.
For many people, emails are the most obvious time waster: they spend time reading emails, not replying to them and then going on to something else. It makes sense to set aside a dedicated time for reading and replying to your emails, perhaps at lunchtime or at a quiet moment when your class is working independently. It’s also a good idea to turn off your notification noise or pop up.
5. Utilise technology
Technological developments have a role to play in saving a teacher’s time. A homework planning website such as the Boomerang homework planner is a great way to minimise the time wasted on student’s excuses while lesson planning sites are a useful way to save time when preparing lessons. By saving time on admin, the Visipoint digital visitor management system gives both teachers and office staff more time for other tasks.
It is quicker to sign in and out and you can access the system from any browser enabled device such as a mobile phone or tablet. This enables you to keep track of any late arrivals and instantly see which pupils and staff members are in the building at any given moment. Visipoint makes the task of safeguarding much easier and also simplifies fire drill: you can print out an up to date list of everyone on site for roll call.
We hope this list of five top time management tips for teachers was helpful! If you would like to find out more about how Visipoint can save time for teachers and administrative staff at your school, please call us on +44 (0) 191 341 0016 or get in touch a member of our expert team online for a free consultation and demo!