Working as a teacher requires excellent time management skills. Teachers need to balance the long-term goals of the classroom, the immediate educational needs of the students and the large volume of paperwork that comes with every assignment. Between writing lesson plans, grading exams and actually teaching, teachers often feel that it is impossible to fit everything into the allotted time frame.
Although the career path seems to have too much work for the number of hours in a day, it is possible to manage the situation and clear extra time in the classroom and outside of class. With effective time management skills, teachers can increase their productivity and provide a better education for their students.
Here are five effective time management tips teachers can use every day.
1. Organize the day by priorities
Teacher time management must start with setting priorities and organizing the day around the most important tasks. Setting priorities can help keep teachers on track throughout the day, even when the unexpected occurs and the workload can seem overwhelming.
Effective prioritizing is about arranging workload based on both the importance of the tasks as well the resulting impact of the completed tasks. Teachers must be able to assess whether projects can be put on hold if the outcomes are not as impactful as others.
Priorities are not as black and white as “putting math and English first and getting to arts projects if time avails.” This kind of thinking can lead to class burnout–for both teachers and students. Within certain contexts, an impactful art or outdoor activity can be just as stimulating as academic lesson plans.
2. Strategically plan homework assignments
Both teachers and students may find that assignments that require repetitive practice is better suited for the home environment. Although in-class practice helps when framing and structuring problems, repetitive practice during class may not be the best use of time. Assignments that simply ask students to complete a set number of problems for practice unnecessarily consume valuable class time.
3. Avoid “loaded” procrastination
According to Pinell, teachers find it more efficient to break up grading materials into small groups that are graded each day than to work on grading the work of the entire class on the same day. Avoid piling on loads of grading assignments, and try to knock out batches at a time. A small pile each day is easier to manage and allows a teacher to properly evaluate the assignment and offer feedback to students. Teachers can experience a sense of accomplishment from each completed batch.
4. Plan for potential crises
It is better to plan ahead for potential problems before facing them in the classroom, as urgent crises can distract teachers from their goals within the classroom. Although some problems have limited options, such as natural disasters, teachers can plan around the needs of students. A crisis that relates to student behavior is better to avoid or handle before it reaches the peak to avoid wasting class time. By learning about students before they enter the classroom, teachers can create a plan of action to avoid triggers and stop distractions early.
5. Set aside personal time
A teacher has many tasks that require attention and often focuses on the needs of students and their parents. Although it is tempting to put more time into grading, feedback and managing student needs, it is also important to set aside personal time to keep the priorities in proper perspective.
Prioritizing time for personal needs is necessary to effectively implement and execute the plans for educating students. When teachers are exhausted due to lack of personal care and time, it is possible that the classroom becomes less effective and efficient. Implementing time-saving plans only works when a teacher is energetic, healthy and refreshed.
Teachers need to take measures to properly manage time for an effective classroom environment. By working through teacher time management strategies, it is possible to keep up with the educational needs of every student, manage urgent situations immediately and avoid falling behind when unexpected events occur. Time management is an important part of providing quality education and meeting the needs of every student. If you are interested in using software to plan and organize your time, you can read our suggested list of the best time management tools for teachers.
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, international bestselling author and host of the The Verywell Mind Podcast.
Sarah Rahal, MD is a double board-certified adult and pediatric neurologist and headache medicine specialist.
While your teen may think it's fine to wait until the last possible second to complete her high school science lab or her math project, procrastination can be a big problem later in life.
She may find that waiting until the last second means an unexpected illness, emergency, or problem will prevent her from getting her work done. Her future boss or college professors aren't likely to accept late work—or the excuses that accompany delayed projects.
Teens who don't learn time management skills are at risk of becoming lifelong procrastinators. And waiting until the last possible minute to get things could cause problems ranging from high-stress levels to relationship trouble.
It's important to teach your teen how to behave responsibly. That means managing her time wisely without requiring constant reminders or assistance from you to get her work done.
Importance of Time Management
High school can be very busy. But the adult world can be even busier. So it's important to start teaching your teen how to manage his time now.
The perks of good time management include:
- Better decision-making skills
- Better performance at work and school
- Increased responsibility and independence
- More opportunities to relax and unwind
- More time for family and friends
- Reduced anxiety when projects are due in school or test dates are approaching
Teaching Time Management Skills
Teens usually have fairly structured schedules. Their school day and their after-school activities are planned out for them. As a result, many of them don’t learn how to manage their time wisely when they have some downtime.
Here are some steps you can take to teach your teen essential time management skills:
- Advise your teen to write down his schedule. Your teen’s time may easily get taken up with video games or social media if he’s not careful. Teach him to schedule his day so he can set aside time for chores, homework, and other responsibilities. Encourage him to schedule free time as well, so time doesn’t idly pass without feeling like he hasn’t done anything fun.
- Avoid nagging. It can be tempting to nag your teen or offer repeat reminders. But, telling your teen to do his homework or his chores over and over again, reduces his responsibility. Set rules about your expectations and follow through with consequences when necessary.
- Encourage your teenager to develop routines. Encourage your teen to establish healthy habits, like doing his chores right after school. Once he gets into the routine of doing things in a certain order, he won’t have to waste time thinking about what to do next.
- Give your teen time management tools. Whether it’s a planner that your teen writes everything in or an app that manages your teen’s schedule, help your teen find the tools that will work best for him. Talk about the importance of creating a schedule and using lists to prioritize his time wisely.
- Help her to set goals. Talk to your teen about the personal goals she wants to reach. Then, help her identify how much time she’ll need to work on that goal each day. Whether she wants to exercise for 30 minutes 3 times each week or she decides to apply for scholarships one Saturday afternoon each month, goal setting is a great way to help her manage her time.
- Help your teen prioritize activities. It’s common for teens to have conflicts in their schedules. A basketball game, birthday party, and church activity may all coincide. Talk to your teen about how to prioritize activities, based on his values and commitments.
- Model good time management habits. If you’re always running late or you miss a lot of deadlines, your teen will follow suit. Practice managing your own time wisely and show your teen that you can accomplish the most important tasks in any given day.
- Set limits on electronics. Your teen may waste countless hours on social media or playing video games if she’s not careful. Establish rules that help her create healthy habits with her cellphone and other digital devices.
Encourage your teen to practice time management skills. There will be times that she's going to miscalculate how long a project will take or days when she forgets a deadline. Help her learn from those mistakes, and remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Teaching takes time. And in school, as elsewhere, there's never enough of it. Like any executive responsible for the efforts of others, you will find that managing time — yours and the students' — is one of your biggest challenges.
Time management is the thread running through almost all aspects of teaching — organizing the day, organizing the classroom, deciding how long and how often to teach various subjects, recording student progress, or keeping time-consuming behavior problems to a minimum. Students only have so much time in your classroom.
Effective use of school time begins with efficient classroom organization and management — and vice versa. Much of the essentials of classroom life involve time management in some way: paring down paperwork; planning; establishing routines that eliminate wasted time and confusion; using learning centers, independent assignments, and seatwork to give you time to work with small groups; and creating classroom environments that allow students and activities to move smoothly from one activity to the next.
Increasing Teaching Time
You may have less time to teach than you think. Lunch, recess, breaks, down-time between lessons and activities, moving from one classroom to another, interruptions, and other periods of non-instructional time account for at least 27 percent of an elementary school day. In many classrooms, that figure climbs beyond 40 percent. Incredible as those statistics may sound, they have been confirmed by separate studies at the Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, and the former Institute for Research on Teaching at Michigan State University.
Sure, lunch, recess, and restroom breaks are important, but too much teaching time can be lost to inefficiency. Add to that the time that slips away when students stare out the window or are otherwise disengaged during instruction, and you get the point.
Here are some ways beginners and veterans alike can substantially increase teaching time:
- Find out which aspects of school time you can control. In some schools, teachers discover they can change the scheduling of class periods, pull-out programs, extracurricular activities planning time, and outside interruptions. Ask your principal to help you control time-wasters such as unexpected visitors and frequent intercom announcements.
- Schedule solid blocks of teaching time for each day. You might hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign outside your door during those times. Also, secure your principal's help in scheduling pull-out programs around those blocks and ask parents not to schedule medical of dental appointments then.
- Plan for smooth transitions between lessons and always try to have materials ready for each lesson or activity.
- Assign homework to extend practice time. Homework should allow students to practice skills they have already learned.
- Consider how and when you schedule restroom breaks for maximum efficiency.
- Improve student attendance. Attendance has a big effect on teaching and learning time. Impress upon parents the importance of good attendance and teach an actual lesson on how it hurts to miss school. "At the end of each day, I try to tell kids what we will be doing the next day," notes first-grade teacher Susie Davis. "I emphasize the kinds of activities they look forward to, such as hands-on activities. This seems to encourage attendance."
Good classroom managers know how to delegate. Aides, volunteers, and students can handle many classroom tasks and save you enormous amounts of time. Learn to use these valuable helpers.
If you are one of the lucky ones assigned a full- or part-time aide, draw on that person's special strengths and abilities. Aides can work with small groups or tutor individuals. They can make instructional games and resources, keep bulletin boards current, monitor seatwork and learning centers, read stories to the class, and assist you in testing. They can also help with clerical and housekeeping duties (those the children can't do for themselves). And their assistance with field trips, special programs, and class parties is invaluable. Help your aide become increasingly responsible and involved in the classroom.
Volunteers are another valuable asset. Volunteers generally can do anything aides do — with your supervision and guidance, of course. Volunteer programs not only give teachers much-deserved help, they can also improve home-school relations. Parents, grandparents, businesspersons, and other volunteers become sympathetic to the problems facing schools, and supportive of better budgets and improved opportunities. Also, they learn to play an active role in educating children. It's a winning proposition for everyone!
Do these dialogues ring a bell? This is the everyday morning conversation, in most of the homes with school-going children. The hurry-burry is a normal scene at the homes. You can reduce at least a major part of it if you teach time management to your child/ children.
Teaching time management has two parts. Both the parents and teachers will have a part to play. Parents can start guiding the kids with the right time management approach. Once they grasp the knack of utilizing time productively and are habituated, it should continue throughout. As it is said, “child is the father of the man.”
On the other hand, teachers can help impart time management skills to students. They should pursue a distinctive approach compared to their parents. It would predominantly focus on developing zest and energizing them towards their goal.
Tips to Teach Time Management Skills to Children?
The foremost thing you must ensure, being a parent, is to allocate enough time to be with children. You may be busy with work, conferences, and official meetings. Your hectic schedule should not seep into the time allotted for your kid.
Set Bedtime for your Child
Set a bedtime for your kid. He or she should go to bed at the said time daily. Waking up time in the morning also should be fixed accordingly. Once the child is habituated with the timing, you wouldn’t have to direct them.
Colourful Calendars and Time Schedules
You can sit with them and assist them in preparing a colorful calendar and time schedule. Make it a fun activity. Add cartoon characters and funny elements to make the calendar more attractive for the kids. You can guide them about the timing for different things for the initial few days. Children adapt to new things easily.
Make Rules and Timetable for Electronic Gadgets
Children tend to get addicted to smartphones, tablets, and TV. The timetable for the electronic gadget has to be maintained properly. Kids would try to coerce you for some more time. Even though you may be lenient, you should handle them smartly and avoid letting them play for more time.
Allocate Free Time
A proper balancing of study, leisure, and playtime are important. Avoid making them a bookworm. It would be more harmful, instead of any advantages. You should include free time in the time management activities. Try these fun indoor activities to keep them engaged.
Coach don’t Order
Training them and enhancing time management skills should be done in a systematic manner. You must avoid frequent orders. Instead, guide and motivate them by narrating the benefits repeatedly.
The parents should prompt their kids towards setting up a goal in life. Through moral stories, guidance, and directives an optimistic attitude and urge to achieve the goal can be initiated. Time management skills should be utilized optimally for attaining goals.
The students would be assigned several tasks. All of those may appear equally important. Nonetheless, some would be more important than others are. The teacher can direct them to prioritize and organize tasks. They need to understand that it may not be feasible to complete all the tasks together. With a focussed process, they can conclude the activities one by one without any delays.
The children would turn into adults and would start a busy office/home schedule. Learning time management would aid them in managing the tasks at hand and managing stress.Time may be allotted for yoga or physical exercises that rejuvenates the soul and helps in reducing stress effectively.
Time management skills can be inculcated since childhood. All have equal time available. However, what distinguishes a successful person from a not-so-successful one is the way he or she utilizes time efficiently. As teachers and parents, yo u have an important role to play in designing their future by teaching them good habits.
Time Management Tools- How to organise your personal, work tasks & worksheets
Welcome to your time management effective management program. This course gives you techniques,I have learnt in my 10 year corporate experience training and coaching managers and leaders from the biggest companies in the world to help your routine.
Organizing your personal time is actually key to ensuring your overall time management in other aspects of your life work well. In this course, I deep dive into how you can evaluate your personal tasks with examples and make sure its effectively managed.
WORK PLACE ORGANIZATION
Constant interruptions? Struggling with learning how to say no to manage your time better? Dont worry. In this course I will help you with techniques that I have used that really changed the way I worked and helped me managing multiple projects with ease.
Its not only enough to have the knowledge but also the tools to learn how to do this effectively. So I have packed this course with downloadable PDF planners and worksheets that are going to change the way you work. These are my proven techniques that have made me super successful in my career.
CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW OF TIME MGT
Welcome to the Course Overview
Im your leadership coach, Hansa. Here’s a little about me.
Positive Affirmations and its benefits
TIME MGT CHECKLIST – Explaining the sheet and how to effective use it
DOWNLOAD PDF- Time Management Checklist
Brain Dump your ideas – clear the clutter out of your mind
Readers are leaders
FB GROUP – Wake up leaders
How to utilize your free time?
CHAPTER 2 – IMPORTANCE OF TIME MGT
What is the importance of communication?
OUR MINDSET – What does this mean and how to use it to your advantage
Growth & Fixed Mindset – Understanding the characteristics of it
What does mindset mean and how to apply it
RIGHT MINDSET -How to move to it and make that change
SOCIAL MEDIA – Can it be a boon or a problem?
Managing your social media – Apps and investing time on them
Stress directly affects your productivity
WORKING FROM HOME – How to manage your routine
Prioritizing and organizing your tasks
MIND, BODY & SOUL – Applying them to become more positive and focused
WORKSHEET DISCUSSION – Self improvement check list – How to evaluate changes in your routine?
DOWNLOAD PDF- Self Improvement checklist
CHAPTER 3 – BARRIERS TO TIME MANAGEMENT
My Overtime Story – Set clear expectations and knowing your boundaries
Lack of Planning – It has a ripple effect
Procrastination is a thief of your productive time
Physical & Emotional Stress Management
Saying Yes to everything – How it is one of the biggest time consumers.
Multi Tasking – the art of doing twice as much as you should half as well
Being a victim to the time wasters
WORKSHEET DISCUSSION – Time Waster Tracker
DOWNLOAD PDF – Time waster tracker
CHAPTER 4 – TECHNIQUES & METHODOLOGY OF TIME MGT
Using planners and Worksheets to your advantage
Stephen Covey Methodology – Make your habits part of your routine
Single Tasking – The reason its the best way to work with your task with statistics.
Application of the Pomodoro Technique
Brian Tracy Strategy of the 80/20 Rule
Beating Procrastination – Here is how you can do this
EISENHOWER MATRIX – Explained with examples and download
WORKSHEET DISCUSSION – Eisenhower Matrix with examples
DOWNLOAD PDF- Eisenhower Matrix
TIME BATCHING – how can you use it to prioritize your tasks?
WORKSHEET DISCUSSION – Time Allotment Tracker with examples
DOWNLOAD PDF – Time Allotment Tracker
Time Mgt Books – These books changed my way of working
TIME MGT APPS – My go to apps that I use on a regular basis
CHAPTER 5 – MANAGING YOUR WORKPLACE
Email Management Strategies and setting your mailbox to reaching to zero
SMART GOALS – How to make sure your goals are realistic
Smart Goals – SWOT Analysis
DOWNLOAD PDF- SWOT Analysis
COLOR BOX METHOD – My go to method to track my projects
WORKSHEET DISCUSSION – My Color Box Method with examples
DOWNLOAD PDF – Color Box Method
Delegation – Breaking down the myths and reasons of not utilizing this method
Calendar Management – Digital Vs Diary
Work Culture – How it affects an organization
WORKSHEET DISCUSSION – Goal Planner
DOWNLOAD PDF- Goal Planner
DONE-Managing your desk
FREE TRAIN THE TRAINER GUIDE – Get your copy now!
Hansa Raghav, Leadership Coach & CEO of Hanz Learning Solutions Training Company
Everyone, at one point or another in their career, struggles with time management and can benefit from planning their time better. In fact, one study found that employees can free up 20 percent of their week simply by exercising more discipline in how they manage their time. That’s reassuring news considering that, just as an example, the average corporate executive receives over 200 emails a day and meetings take up 35 percent of the workweek.
Here are six specific steps you can take to help employees who are struggling with time management.
1. Uncover the source of the problem (and try to minimize it)
Whether someone gets caught up in the details of lower-level priorities or they get overwhelmed and paralyzed by the volume of work, uncovering the source of time management issues can be the first step toward solving them. To get started:
- Talk it through: Have conversations with employees to understand the cause of their time management issues. For example, when an employee complains that they don’t have enough time to complete work and they’re feeling burned out, offer reassurance and help the employee understand which responsibilities are a higher priority and where they should focus their efforts.
- Minimize distractions: Identify distractions like white noise levels or inefficient workspace configurations and try to minimize them. A possible solution is providing flexible work arrangements that allow employees to work on larger, more complex projects from home.
- Recommend a time log: Have employees fill out a time log for a week and then examine the alignment of their time with priorities, where they got derailed, and strategies they can use to get caught up. This is a useful tool that will direct their personal reflection and how they can improve going forward.
2. Make expectations and priorities clear
One of the best ways to ensure individuals meet deliverables on time is by making expectations crystal clear and repeating them as necessary in meetings and one-on-one. Some examples of how you can do this include:
- Using direct language and project schedules to communicate goals, due dates, priorities, and accountability for assignments.
- Talk about team culture when a new member joins. For example, during onboarding, stress that time management is important and employees are expected to be at meetings on time.
3. Offer a helping hand
Some employees may recognize that they need help with time management, while others may not. In any case, you can offer help and support to employees who seem to be struggling with organizing their time wisely. The following techniques are usually quite effective:
- Checking in periodically with employees and simply asking, “What can I do to help?”
- Putting employees in small teams that allow them to divide a large deliverable into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- Meeting with individuals one-on-one to brainstorm ideas and create a plan that will help support more effective time management.
4. Model behaviors and coach employees
Employees take time management cues from their team leader. When you arrive at meetings on time and deliver on your commitments, they can see that you practice what you preach. Once you’ve identified that an employee is experiencing a time management challenge, you can also coach them to make the appropriate changes in their behavior through MCR (Model, Coach, Require) coaching, which is comprised of the following steps:
- Model: Leaders model the behavior they desire from an employee, so that the employee sees, understands, and believes in the change.
- Coach: Leaders assess employee behavior and provide coaching, ideas, and a plan for making the improvements a reality.
- Require: Leaders set expectations that require the employee to be accountable for making the necessary changes to their time management behavior.
5. Teach new techniques
An excellent way to help employees practice better time management at work is to teach them how. Effective time management training includes ways to effectively manage resources, as well as techniques for staying organized. Training in the following three areas will significantly support effective time management:
- Planning and prioritizing: Learning how to plan and estimate the timing of key tasks helps employees anticipate how their day will play out. Prioritizing also helps employees avoid playing catch-up on overlooked deliverables.
- Organization skills: It’s necessary to organize time, as well as the space around you. A disorganized work space can lead an employee to waste time looking for a lost item, which can result in a missed deadline or late arrival to a meeting.
- Communication skills: Training that focuses on improving communication skills teaches employees how and when to give updates on the progress of their work.
6. Recognize improvements
Positive reinforcement and recognition help employees understand that they’re meeting performance expectations by effectively managing their time. You can recognize employees who meet deadlines in one-on-one discussions and team meetings. Intentional reinforcement of what employees are doing right will inspire them to continue their efforts and strive for greater improvements.
Time management can be challenging for everyone, but it is a crucial skill in every industry, department, and role. There are many ways to help employees who are struggling with time management, like making expectations clear, providing them with coaching and skills training, and reinforcing their behavior when they master skills. The outcome is less burnout, improved productivity, and an organization full of teams and individuals who manage their time effectively.
13 Best Free Time Management Software
Learn How to Keep Track of Time and Work Hours
Effective Time Management
It was great,but I think if it was more professional it would more effective
Hossein, what do you mean by “professional”? Happy to see you like the article! 😉
This article was awesome for personal time managing but if you have a business or a project where you need to manage your time and resources I have just found this awesome tool, it is called elapseit:
Thanks alot! This is going to go a long way in helping me fight procrastination, and I will also recommend it for a few friends who might need it.
the contents are every good
It’s interesting to know that planning my day in advance has been proven by other people to be the most effective technique when it comes to time management. I seem to plan every activity I’d have for the rest of the day but I always end up not accomplishing anything on my schedule. It might be a good idea to just arrange everything beforehand, including having a meal kit delivered to my apartment, so I can focus on the projects I need to finish.
Basic life skills like time management are sometimes overlooked in psychotherapy. In some cases, skills like these make all the difference. Poor time management can damage relationships or careers, and cause unnecessary stress.
The Time Management Tips printout is exactly what you think it would be—a list of advice that your clients can use to improve how they manage their time. The tips we chose for this handout are intended to be realistic, easy to implement, and helpful . This worksheet works well as a take-home reminder for clients who feel overwhelmed, or who can’t seem to keep up with their responsibilities.
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Disclaimer: The resources available on Therapist Aid do not replace therapy, and are intended to be used by qualified professionals. Professionals who use the tools available on this website should not practice outside of their own areas of competency. These tools are intended to supplement treatment, and are not a replacement for appropriate training.