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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One skill that helps you manage your time



People are not born being good time managers. It is a learned skill.

There is one small strategy that can really help your time management. Time Estimates

What is a Time Estimate? It is really simple. It is writing the amount of time that you think an activity will take, and then figuring out how much time it really took. You will notice that over time you get more and more accurate with estimating time.

How do you use a time estimate? You take your to do list, or even your stack of papers that need to be graded, and write the amount of time you think each task will take. Your to do list might look like this:

  • Call back parent x (5 min.)
  • Lesson plan for observation (30 min.)
  • Make HW packet for the week (10 min.)
  • Make copies for the week (20 min.)
  • Fill out IEP form (15 min.)
How do those time estimates help you out? If you have a 30 minute planning period, you now know what you can get done. You are no longer going to expect yourself to plan the lesson, call back the parent and finish the IEP form. . . and then feel disappointed that you did not accomplish "anything" during that time.

You can make better choices about how to spend your time and when you are going to do things. You also might find that you need to delegate or delete items. It might not be possible to get everything done that you want to get done. That is ok!

You might also find out that some tasks do not take nearly as long as you think they take. You might not like calling back parents, and so in your mind that task takes longer. Realizing that the average phone call is really only 3 minutes, it might be easier to complete the task.

The time estimate is one skill that can really make a big difference. Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

Online classes I offer for teachers through HOL.edu:

RENEWING OURSELVES & OUR TEACHING
FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success
ORGANIZING FROM THE INSIDE OUT
SAVE TIME: Time Management for Your Teaching & Your Life

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