With all the demands that you face at the start of a term, it becomes even more imperative that you manage your time well. As a result, you may be looking for some time-management tips that can help you accomplish everything on your plate.
In their book Fitness and Wellness, Eleventh Edition, Werner W.K. Hoeger and Sharon A. Hoeger offer a number of strategies and techniques that can help you make the most of each hour (and minute) you have. Below, we’ve summarized them. Review these ideas, and perhaps you’ll be able to face these first few days of the year (and term) with a bit less stress!
Five tips to help you manage your time
1. Watch how you spend your time each day. For one week, keep a careful log of how you’re spending your time. At the end of each day, identify the activities that you believe served as unnecessary distractions or time-wasters. Strive to avoid those activities… especially when you have important tasks, such as grading, to get done on a deadline.
2. Set short- and long-term goals. The short-term goals will help you accomplish what needs to be done in the near future; the long-term goals will help you stay focused on the activities and achievements that meant the most to you.
3. Keep a daily and weekly “to-do” list. Make a list of the tasks that need to get done this day, and this week. Prioritize those with a score of “low,” “medium,” or “high,” and schedule them accordingly.
4. Use a planner. Whether you use an electronic planner or a printed journal, the simple act of jotting down your daily activities, appointments, and contacts will save you the stress of keeping track of all those things in your head or on random scraps of paper. You can also use your planner to set up blocks of time: consider when you’re at your most alert, and schedule the activities that require your greatest amount of energy and concentration during those blocks. And be careful not to overbook yourself!
5. Evaluate your goals and progress on a nightly basis. Each evening, take a few minutes to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Remove the completed items from the list, and reschedule the incomplete ones for the next opportune time. (187-188)
How do your manage your time during busy seasons? Share your recommendations for fellow educators in the comments.
Reference: Hoeger, Werner K. and Sharon A. Hoeger. 2015. Fitness and Wellness, 11th ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.