Time management for teachers: 7 easy tips

by mindroar | Sep 5, 2021 | blog | 0 comments

Effective time management for teachers is one of the things that can make or break your teaching career. If you work a thousand hours a week, you will burn out.

So, how do teacher manage their time effectively so they maintain balance in their lives?

If you learn to manage your time effectively, you are more likely to be one of the teachers that lasts the long haul.   And lasting the long haul is just one of the many benefits of time management for teachers.

We all know the reasons why time management is important for teachers. But it’s also important for their families and friends too. If you manage your time effectively, you get to have a life outside of work and spend time with friends and family. 

You can home-cook wholesome meals, exercise for health, pursue hobbies that bring you joy, and spend time with the people who are most important to you.

It also means you will not be working for free half the time! The aim is to be able to complete much of your job (not all – let’s be realistic!) within your contract hours so that you’re not spending your weeknights and weekends doing work. (Remember that burnout – that’s how it happens, working all the hours).

So, how do you do this? Read on if you want to learn how to manage your time as a teacher more effectively and join the ranks of organized teachers who get it done . We have seven time management tips for teachers today, so pick and choose those that you think can work for you and try them out.

1. Plan your time effectively

This tip for time management for teachers probably seems obvious, but it’s not. You likely plan out what you’re going to do during the day and you probably plan out your lessons.

But, do you work out roughly how long different tasks will take? Do you allocate specific types of tasks to certain days? Do you use a block schedule to help juggle all the different areas of your life more effectively?

If not, here are some time management strategies for teachers that you might find helpful. Try a few, see what works for you, and prepare to step into line with those organized teachers you’ve always secretly envied.

Chunk your tasks

Just like you chunk your activities in your lessons, you could try to complete similar types of tasks in chunks. It’s far easier to do a bunch of the same sort of tasks than to switch between tasks that require different skills.

For example, do you have a bunch of phone calls to make? Do them together. Do you have a bunch of papers to grade or lessons to plan? Allocate an hour, and do as many as you can.

By chunking similar tasks together, you complete them faster because you’re not switching between skill sets and having to reorient yourself to the task at hand.

Allocate tasks to specific days

Some teachers prefer to do specific tasks on specific days. For example, you may like to do all of your printing and copying on a Friday for the week ahead. Or, you may like to send home positive praise postcards every Tuesday and Thursday.

Either way, allocating specific tasks to specific days takes away some of the decision-making in your day and minimizes wasted time trying to decide what to do.

Use a block schedule

Some teachers, particularly those juggling part-time work, family demands, or side hustles/second jobs use a block schedule to organize their time throughout the week. This ensures that all the different parts of their lives keep chugging along. (See here for my blog post on block schedules).

For example, this might mean that on Sunday afternoons you meal prep a bunch of dinners and lunches for the coming week. Or you might choose to put cleaning-the-house tasks as part of your nighttime routine and complete one cleaning task a day.

At school, this might mean that you leave that last half hour each day to respond to emails and make phone calls. Or you might use the first half hour each day when you arrive to organize your materials for your classes that day etc.

Use to-do lists for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks

Another tip for time management for teachers is to have daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to-do lists. Daily to-dos might be tasks such as:

  • taking attendance
  • organizing materials for classes
  • checking emails
  • making phone calls

Weekly tasks might include things such as:

  • contacting parents
  • planning lessons
  • grading assessment
  • sending out positive praise postcards etc.

Monthly tasks might include things such as:

  • checking in with students about their progress
  • long-term planning such as units of work
  • completing professional development
  • writing out important dates on your calendar

Yearly tasks might be things such as:

  • printing out parent-contact information
  • sending home emails/letters to parents introducing yourself
  • roughly planning out the year and units of work

Prepare in advance

Prepare for everything in advance:

  • phone calls to parents
  • meetings with admin
  • department meetings
  • parent-teacher meetings
  • professional development

Basically, winging it wastes time when you are completing tasks because your brain is trying to work out what to do while you do it. Which makes you work more slowly.

So, jot down some talking points, write out a lesson plan, or write out a to-do list for your prep time, before-school time, and after-school time.

2. Prioritize your tasks

Again, this sounds silly and easy, but another time management tip for teachers is to prioritize the work you have to do. In her book on time management, Get Remarkably Organized (not an affiliate link, just read it and thought it had good tips), Lorraine Murphy suggests first doing the tasks that will push you forward in your career or business.

Now, she is writing from a business-building background, but the drift is to do the things that will have the most impact first. As teachers, our job is to educate students. So, tasks that help us achieve that goal will be the most important.

However, evaluating what work you need to do and when it needs to be done will help you get out the staffroom door faster. Try to think about your tasks in this way:

  • How important is the task?
  • How urgent is the task?

Once you have done that, try to assign the tasks to the following categories:

  • Important and urgent tasks
  • Not-important but urgent tasks
  • Important but not-urgent tasks
  • Not-important and not-urgent tasks

Then, do the tasks in the following order:

  • Important and urgent tasks get done first. Aim to get these done for the next day before you leave for home.
  • Not important but urgent tasks get done second. Aim to get these done for the next day before you leave for home.
  • Important but non-urgent tasks get done third. Aim to get these done for the next day, but don’t stress if you don’t because you can finish them up later.
  • Not-important and non-urgent tasks get done last (if at all). Why are you doing these? Choose wisely which of these tasks you will do and which you will let slide.

But, as Tim Ferriss suggests in The Four-Hour Work Week (again, not an affiliate link, just read it and liked it), you can outsource parts of your work. Need lesson plans? TPT has your back. Don’t reinvent the wheel. But, use it wisely because it adds up quickly and your money is best spent on things that either:

  • save you a bunch of lesson-prep time, or
  • get you out of a bind. You know, the kind of bind that starts Sunday night when your kid swallows a spring and you take a five-hour round trip to the local ED and get home at midnight. And therefore cannot possibly create the lesson activity you were supposed to and you need something for class like five minutes ago. That kind of bind.

And I should say that prioritizing goes for lessons too. If you find yourself suddenly with a week to go before school break and your students are still completing assessments, you don’t need to cover all the content. You need to get them to finish the assessment. Now.

So take your lessons one at a time (while keeping the big picture in mind) and do what needs to get done to meet expectations.

Do the activities that will most benefit your students first. And then add in extras if you have the time and inclination.

But one of the most important time management skills needed for teachers to survive is to prioritize their work. Do what NEEDS to get done and leave the rest on the back burner.

And focus on one task at a time

Multi-tasking sounds great in theory. And frankly, there are some things that should be multi-tasked.

I’m thinking of things like driving your kid to swimming lessons while listening to them rattle on about My Little Pony but secretly listening to your favorite radio station or podcast on your earphones.

Cos really, who wants to hear more about My Little Pony .

But, at work, multitasking can make you distracted because your brain is switching from one thing to another and has to do a little reboot each time you change tasks. So, pick the task, complete it, then do the next one.

3. Get organized & have systems in place

This time management tip for teachers is all about getting organized and having systems in place to make your day-to-day and week-to-week easier.

These systems can be in place at work, or at home. But the goal is to put things on autopilot so your brain doesn’t have to think about it.

Things you might like to have a system for include:

  • When/how you will contact parents
  • Visiting your pigeon hole/teacher cubby/school office
  • Checking emails
  • Making urgent/non-urgent phone calls
  • Classroom management and organization
  • Behavior management
  • Homework/classwork tracking
  • Recording assessment information
  • Asking for and using past students’ assessments as samples
  • Entering/exiting the classroom
  • Cleaning the classroom

What else do you use systems for? Head to our Facebook or Instagram page and let us know.

4. Plan solid B- lessons

Lesson planning can take a long time. A looooonnnngggg time. But, it doesn’t have to. Depending on how your school likes you to lesson plan, your plan might be as easy as dot points of activities written in your teacher diary.

But, if you’re not that lucky and are expected to write up full lesson plans, my first piece of advice is to reuse old lesson plans wherever possible.

And failing that, use a template to make the process go faster.

But either way, you don’t need every lesson to be a whizz-bang, all-singing, all-dancing lesson that entertains your students for every single second.

Aim for solid B- in the whizz-bang, all-singing, all-dancing criteria and just make sure that your students know what they need to learn and help them learn it.

Chalk and talks are fast. Powerpoints are easy. Independent practice is essential. So make them do the work.

And for goodness sake, if you are planning for different classes, always always always try to work with a team teacher and take turns. Save your sanity.

It’s far faster to tweak something that a colleague has created to suit your class than to start from scratch every single time.

5. Use templates

Using templates is such a time saver. Instead of creating everything from scratch, using templates means that you can create documents, lesson plans, and rubrics quickly and easily.

All you have to do is tweak the template for each specific thing. Great things to have templates for include:

  • student feedback on assessment
  • parent communication (permission slips, missing work or assessment, attendance)
  • student feedback on classwork
  • lesson plans
  • student feedback on behavior
  • powerpoints
  • student task sheets or assessment rubrics

You get the idea here. Re-use documents that you use often, but just tweak them to suit each individual purpose instead of re-creating the entire document.

And be smart about marking – create rubrics and marking sheets that are tick and flick so that you spend less time marking. This is especially important for formative assessment.

6. Use colleagues and students

Now, I don’t really mean use your colleagues. What I mean is to develop collegiate relationships with other teachers you trust and respect. Then take turns planning work.

For example, one year a teacher-friend and I took turns creating lessons for a songs of social commentary unit in English. She took the 70s, I took the 80s, she took the 90s and I took the 00s.

Between us, we created activities about bands, their songs, and the comments the songs made. We halved the work we had to do individually but together were able to create a fun unit of work that the students enjoyed and learned from.

Other ways to do this is to swap resources and lesson plans with teachers who teach the same units as you or, if your school is set up to do this, to team-teach bigger combined classes.

You can also use your students to do stuff. Ask them to carry messages to the office, get them to peer edit each other’s work, get them to mark non-essential things like spelling tests, or assign peer grades.

This helps students develop responsibility and see that there are people other than the teacher in their class who can help them. Plus, peer teaching typically helps students learn very effectively.

7. Set boundaries around your time

So, why is time management important for teachers? Well, if you haven’t worked it out already, teaching is a profession that can consume ALL of your time. If you let it.

This is the hardest time-management skill teachers need. Learning to say no. Trying to set boundaries around your time. Learning to use sick leave.

But, if you can learn how to manage time as a teacher, you will last longer in a profession where fantastic people burn out faster than a sparkler candle on a birthday cake.

Some ideas to set boundaries around your time include

  • if you have an office or classroom, close your door when you are working during your prep time or before/after school
  • if you don’t have an office, wear earphones to signal to your colleagues that you are working not chatting
  • use sick leave strategically – take one or two days off a term (preferably when you can assign an easy task like a video to a substitute teacher) and use that time to mark assessments or plan units of work
  • try to avoid socializing if you have essential tasks to get done –  we all know our teacher-pals are one of the best parts of the job but if you want a life outside of work there are times when you have to prioritize getting the work done

Time management for teachers is also important because you have to gauge what you think your students can learn in a set amount of time. And then pace your lesson accordingly.

One of the best teacher time management tools is a clock. No joke. Use a clock or watch. In your brain, know when activities will finish in each lesson and what time to move on to the next activity.

This is one of the easiest ways for you to learn how to manage time as a teacher.

Or, if you, like me, forget to watch the clock or find yourself getting caught up helping students and not moving the lesson along, a great time management tool for teachers is an online timer to count down the minutes for students to complete tasks. 

My favorite online timer is this one because you can either use the standard 25-minute pomodoro timer or you can set a custom time for individual tasks. I like to use it for sustained silent reading at the start of my English lessons or give students a time limit for finishing specific tasks.

This will help keep your lessons moving, stop your students from getting bored, and keep you on track to cover the required content.

Want to save more time?

We hope you’ve found some useful tips for time management for teachers here today.

If you’re looking to save even more time, y ou can check out our TPT store for time-saving lesson resources for teaching English, geography, history, study skills, and research skills.

Most of our resources are low-to-no prep. And lots of them use videos by CrashCourse to help cover lots of content in a short amount of time while remaining engaging and rigorous.

You can also follow us on TPT , Facebook , or Instagram for more products, time-saving tips, and other teacher content.

Updated 27/2/23

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5 Major Time Management Challenges for Teachers and How to Avoid These Time Sucks

time management for teachers essay

by Nancy Barile, Award-Winning Teacher, M.A.Ed.

A man holds his best friend, the giant clock.

Manage the things that suck away your time and reclaim your hours and your sanity.

Time is probably the most valuable commodity in the teaching profession. Teachers are pulled in a million different directions each day, so it's no surprise that interruptions and "time sucks" lurk around every corner.

Having a good sense of time management is key. Here are some tips for combating the biggest threats to teachers' time.

Further Reading:  The 3 Biggest Classroom Time Management Issues

1. Creating Lessons and Assessments

While an essential part of the job, creating effective lessons and assessments is probably the most time-consuming activity for teachers. After struggling for years to continually craft strong multiple-choice questions for the books my advanced placement and composition students read, I realized I needed help if I wanted to salvage my time. Luckily, I discovered an online source that created perfectly aligned AP questions for nearly every classic novel. In exchange for a small fee, I could save myself hours and hours of time.

time management for teachers essay

If you're finding that lesson creation is eating away at your time, look online for sources. Your colleagues are another resource to consider. Chat with veteran teachers about techniques they use and look at shared folders. Though I still create many of my own lessons and assessments, I also turn to the internet and my peers for help.

2. Socializing at Work

I know all too well that if I go to the teacher's cafe at a certain time during my prep, I'll see several colleagues and end up chatting for at least 20 minutes. While it's important and absolutely necessary to talk and share with colleagues , don't let yourself get sucked in when you have a lot of time-sensitive duties. I make sure to avoid the lunchroom if I'm strapped for time, and I'm not afraid to close my door if I need to focus and get work done.

3. Nonessential Material

A few years ago, Boston had its largest seasonal snowfall in history: 108.6 inches! I was freaking out because I needed to be sure my sophomore students were ready for the state exam that was a few short weeks away. When we finally returned to school, I knew I needed to kick it into high gear to keep the class on track. So, I streamlined the curriculum, honed in on the most crucial skills, and utilized every single minute of class time.

I was shocked when I discovered that my sophomore class earned the highest growth percentile that year, and I believe it was because I concentrated on the most essential skills. Now, regardless of snowpocalypses, I make sure every lesson focuses on the skills most necessary for my students' success.

Evaluate all your lessons and get rid of any extraneous and unessential material. Over time, you'll be able to discern which lessons are powerful, which are weaker, and which need a bit more work to ensure they're truly impactful on student learning.

4. Parent and Student Meetings

Preparation is the name of the game when it comes to meeting with a parent or student. Being well-prepped helps you stay on time. Have the student's portfolio, work folder, and grades available. Make a list of exactly what you want to address in the meeting. In a particularly challenging situation, I'll add in extra time to the scheduling, just in case the meeting runs late. If it doesn't, that time is a bonus for me! (I always have work that needs finishing.)

5. Extra Help After School

All teachers have set office hours to help struggling students. During that time, it's important to equip the student with enough tools to complete the work on their own, as opposed to spending a lot of time walking them through the entirety of an assignment. For me, that may mean helping a student draft an outline of an essay so they can finish writing at home. For a math teacher, it may be walking a student through some sample problems so they can master the work independently.

Another time issue is when a large number of students show up for extra help. My friend, Cheryl, a math teacher, is masterful at handling this situation. She has students teach each other while they're waiting for help. Almost all of the time, the students are able to answer their own questions and facilitate their own learning by working together, which saves the teacher time.

Further Reading:  4 Spring Time Management Tricks for the Last Weeks of School

Avoiding these common teacher time sucks will improve your time management, and you'll likely find that you're able to squeeze just a little more time out of your day.


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Nancy Barile is a National Board Certified Teacher, who has been teaching English Language Arts at a low-income, urban high school near Boston, MA for 22 years. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. Nancy was a Top 50 Finalist for the Varkey Global Teacher Prize 2015. She is the 2013 recipient of the Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award and the 2013 Boston Red Sox Most Valuable Educator Award. She was also awarded the 2011 Massachusetts Commonwealth Award in Creative Leadership, and in 2007 was named a member of the 2007 USA Today All-Teacher Team. She holds a B.A. in Behavioral Science, a Masters in Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Education Leadership. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Scholastic, Inc., the College Board, the Center for Teaching Quality, and Education Week.

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5 Time Management Tips for Teachers

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 .

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5 Strategies to Improve Time Management for Teachers

June 8, 2021 by Kelly Leave a Comment

One of the most common struggles I hear from teachers is the lack of time. The issue, though, isn’t a lack of time. It’s a lack of time management skills. Surprisingly it’s not just the new teachers struggling with this skill . It seems like time management for teachers is a challenge at all levels of experience.

Looking to improve time management as a teacher, this blog post will share five ways you can manage your time at school better.

This post may contain affiliate links For more info, check out The Simply Organized Teacher’s  disclosure policy.

When I wask teachers what their biggest struggle with teaching is, these are the responses I get:

  • “fitting in the curriculum”
  • “time”
  • “finding time to cover everything”
  • “sticking to plans”
  • “routines”

Do you see a pattern?

Everything all revolves around the need for more time. We can’t get more time.

But we can manage our time better!

This post shares some practical things you can do to manage your time, stay focused, and get your kids to finish their work.

5 Tips to Improve Time Management for Teachers

These strategies aren’t anything new. In fact, most of these are things I learned from my exchange teacher (like a mentor) during my year with Teacher Fellows.

But they are things I didn’t know stepping into my classroom for the very first time. Or, maybe I knew them, I just didn’t know how to practically implement them.

1. Set Timers

The most important part of setting timers is sticking to them.

In fact, a lot of times I would set timers three to five minutes before a subject was supposed to end so I had time to wrap up whatever I needed to.

Here are two timers I recommend:

  • Kagan Cooperative Learning MegaTimer – This timer is huge so the kids can see it from any area in the room. Plus it has different ways to keep and manage time. It is worth it.
  • The Time Timer – I like this one because it is very visual and does the simple task of keeping track of time remaining

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

You can also use your phone for “every day” timers. Set them to remind you when one subject ends and another begins. Or as a reminder to go to the library.

“Every day” timers were especially helpful when I was in a monolingual classroom and had reign over my class the entire day. It was much easier (and more tempting) to run overtime.

When I was switching with a partner teacher, I couldn’t go over as easily because I had to change kids with her.

2. Just Move On!

Which brings me to my second point. Just move on!

My first year I struggled a TON with waiting for kids to catch up and I realized that I was doing them a disservice.

It really was better to just move on and create routines for students to make up work they didn’t finish than to allow additional time working on an assignment.

Kids need to be held accountable for doing work quickly and efficiently.

If they know that tomorrow’s Morning Work time is going to be used to finish their math assignment instead of going to morning stations, they are more inclined to work quickly.

Classroom teachers can hold students accountable to time management with these ideas.

Please, be really cautious about making kids work during their recess!!! I will admit that I did do this. If I did make kids work during recess it was because it was an assignment I had already given them ample time to complete.

Usually it was a kid who didn’t finish the activity during the allotted time, or during a week’s worth of morning work time because they were talking, playing, being lazy, etc.

I never took recess away from a kid who struggled to finish because of learning challenges , was dealing with difficult home life, or was consistently late/absent due to their parents.

3. Try Small Group Teaching

I found that small group teaching helped me to stay on time easier because I was able to work on a more individual basis.

Teacher working with students at a small group teaching table.

This meant I was not wasting time teaching something to my “middle” kids while my higher ones zoned out and didn’t get any enrichment. Or while my lower kiddos were lost and confused and I would have to pull them again.

Teachers inside The Organized Teacher Framework™ have access to a lesson on how to differentiate for your students in small group lessons.

4. Follow a Curriculum Map

Curriculum Maps created at the beginning of the year help you to think more constructively about how to layout your year.

When you can think about your year without the stressors of all that is going on in your classroom, you can be more subjective about how much time you need to spend on units and what activities you want to include.

Manage your time at school and with students with these practical steps.

You can read all about how to create a curriculum map for the entire year. I also videoed the process in case you are more of a visual learner.

5. Allow Time for Catching Up AND Fun!

As I mentioned above, create routines for making up work.

If you have a routine or structure for handling students that didn’t get work completed on time, then you don’t have to worry about taking more time out of your day to give them more time to complete.

And of course, you have to allow time for fun!

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These time management tips I’ve listed above are not hard and fast rules. Teachers can read their class pretty well and know when it’s time for fun and when it is time for work.

Give your kids engaging ways to complete activities, take away the worksheets, and get them working with partners and communicating with their classmates. Include team builders and class builders as breaks during work time so they stay awake.

Classroom teachers can hold students accountable to time management with these ideas.

Complete Your To-Do List Every Week

Words of caution for first-year teachers.

First-Year Teachers, I want to share a story I remember from my first year. I have no idea why I remember this inconsequential story. But I do.

Our class was taking notes and I had a student in my class who worked  very slow. Like, for twenty words most kids wrote, this student wrote one. I kept waiting to move on with the entire class, until this student was done.

Then my mentor teacher walked over and helped him write the notes. She would write a few words to get him up to speed, then give him back the pencil. This, for whatever reason, stuck with me.

Students working on a math problem together

I guess it stuck because I realized that it was okay to move on. It was okay to help a kid out every once in a while. It also allowed me to think about work differently.

The kids didn’t have to finish copying whatever they were copying in the time I gave them (like if they had trouble keeping pace, not just because they weren’t paying attention).

It was okay to allow the kid to continue working after note-taking time was complete by giving them my notes to copy at a later time.

Students With IEPs

You will have students come into your classroom with IEPs that dictate additional time. These tips I’ve shared above are not really of those kids. Typically, students coded as special ed get additional time to complete work.

They also get modified work. A lot of times, for my kids, this looked like me walking over to their desk and circling five out of the ten problems they needed to complete.

Pay Attention to the Class

If the whole class is struggling with something and not completing the work, then it is time to pause and backtrack.

Moving on is not always the right answer. Sometimes you will have a breakdown in understanding among the whole group and when that happens, you need to alter your plans and accommodate that.

Classroom teachers can hold students accountable to time management with these ideas.

I always wrote my plans in pencil so I could easily erase and rewrite my plans if midweek things were not going the way I had planned.

In Conclusion,

The biggest thing I can stress to you is to hold yourself accountable. In my first year my students learned that if they didn’t finish in time, it was okay because Ms. Buchtien would just give them more time.

I had to really alter my thoughts and be more intentional in year two to be more strict with myself about moving on.

I also had to get better at managing my personal time at school and stop wasting so much time talking by the copier or hanging out in the lounge after school.

Remember to follow these tips to help you manage your time at school more efficiently:

  • Use timers (for the students and yourself)
  • Just move on
  • Teach in a small group setting
  • Create a Curriculum Map

Quick Links

Here’s a quick recap of some of the most important links from this post:

  • Daily Student Routines to Help with Classroom Organization
  • Small-Group Organization Strategies
  • Differentiation lesson inside The Organized Teacher Framework™
  • How to Write Lesson Plans Quickly and Effectively
  • 10 Productivity Tips for Classroom Teachers- free download

Related Posts

Tips for Time Management for Teachers

Until next time,

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If you found this post useful, simply click the “Pin It” button and pin it to one of your boards so you have it and other teachers can find it!

Looking to improve time management as a teacher, this blog post will share five ways you can manage your time at school better.

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Instructional time and classroom management

Quality education depends in part on having sufficient time for teaching and learning..

Schools need an adequate number of days and hours for instruction and well-trained teachers to deliver quality lessons, so that student engagement and learning is maximised. Factors that impact instructional time include: school schedules, teacher issues, classroom management and time-on-task, pre-service and in-service training and support, and the establishment of a school-wide disciplinary system.

Issues and Discussion

Supply and demand of instructional time: Schools should dedicate an adequate amount of time to teaching and learning—between 850 to 1,000 instructional hours spread across 180 to 220 days per school year at the primary level, and usually more for the secondary level.(1) In some contexts, the actual instructional time supplied does not keep pace with the demand from parents and communities due to delays in starting instruction, unplanned school closures, difficulties caused by poor school infrastructure, teacher and student absences, limited classroom management skills, excessive time given to testing and examinations, school strikes, and teacher retention issues.(1)(2)(3)(4)

Scheduling and attendance: The supply of instruction time can be improved by adhering to planned school start and end dates and other scheduling, and by ensuring accessibility to the school for both teachers and students to arrive on time.(1)(2)(4) School leaders can increase instructional time by observing teachers during instruction, developing and consistently enforcing teacher and student attendance policies, having regularly scheduled visits from inspectors, and improving school commitment through an incentives system.(1)(4)(7) The provision of in-service training, mentorship opportunities, and monitoring teacher satisfaction can also help to reduce teacher absenteeism and improve teacher motivation.

Classroom management and time-on-task: Classroom management skills are evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies used by teachers to construct an environment that supports and facilitates student learning, while enhancing the quality of instructional time and student time-on-task.(2)(8) Classroom management competencies associated with positive teaching and learning outcomes include: 1) maximising structure through teacher-directed activities and minimising physical classroom distractions , 2) posting, teaching, monitoring, and reinforcing expectations, and providing supervision and feedback, 3) directly engaging students and giving them opportunities to respond, and 4) using strategies that reinforce positive behaviours and redirect problem behaviours.(3)(4)(5)(8)

Pre-service training for improved instructional time: Instructional time and quality of delivery can be improved when teachers receive pre-service training that is inquiry- and research-based and focused on content-area knowledge, pedagogical skills, and delivering content to students in diverse and meaningful ways.(2)(6) Loss of instructional time can be caused by low self-efficacy to teach and use classroom management skills so it is important that competencies for effective classroom management be taught during pre-service training.(3) Successful pre-service training equips teachers to be effective in their use of instructional time, behaviour management skills, strategies to promote appropriate behaviours, and maximising classroom structure.(3)  These skills are evidenced when there is a flow to teacher instruction, when multiple sources of student’s learning are tapped into (including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic ), and when students are provided opportunities to contemplate, encode, and respond during lessons.(5)

In-service training and support for improved instructional time: Teacher skills and competencies that improve use of instructional time and classroom management should be reinforced through in-service training and a supportive school environment.(6) Teachers need a sense of collegial support as well as autonomy, flexibility, and ability to be creative when delivering lessons according to student needs.(6) Teachers are also more effective in using instructional time when they are committed to improving their competencies through continuing professional development opportunities.(1)(2)(4)(6) 

School-wide disciplinary systems for improving classroom management:  Loss of instructional time and issues with teacher retention can be caused by student discipline issues and lack of parent or school management support in disciplining problem behaviours.(1)(4)(8) Parent support and student behaviours improve when  school-wide disciplinary systems are co-developed with school councils, student groups, families, and community members.(5)(7) Effective disciplinary systems prevent, monitor, and address problem behaviours which are clearly articulated in a student and parent handbook .(5)(7) Disciplinary codes often outline rules for classroom attendance, permissible clothing, disciplinary options for students with and without exceptionalities, and the restrictions on weapons and drugs.(5)(7) Disciplinary systems should outline student’s responsibilities for engaging in appropriate behaviours and a process for students and parents to address disciplinary actions taken by schools.(7)(8) Effective disciplinary systems enlist strategies to promote student behaviour development, growth, and dignity rather than resorting to punitive forms of punishment.(5)(7)(8)

Inclusiveness and Equity

Students in low-income communities: Teacher burnout and turnover occurs most often in low-performing public schools located in low-income and high minority-represented communities.(4) Teacher training programs can improve instructional time in low-income communities by directly addressing the special challenges of teaching in these schools and giving teachers practical and effective strategies.(4)

Teachers living with HIV: The stigmatization, discrimination, absenteeism, and early retirement of teachers living with HIV impact instructional time loss in many countries with a high prevalence of the disease.(1) It is important that health and education sectors work together to ensure that school-based prevention and treatment efforts are provided along with adopted school policies to cultivate a school culture of acceptance and non-discriminatory attitudes, to plan for workplace safety, to develop strategies for reducing time lost due to teachers’ poor health, and to provide counselling and education for teachers and students.(1)

Plans and policies

  • Australia [ PDF ]
  • Ireland [ PDF ]
  • South Africa [ PDF ]
  • Swaziland [ PDF ]
  • Tanzania [ PDF ]
  • Abadzi, H. 2007. Absenteeism and beyond: Instructional time loss and consequences . The World Bank, Independent Evaluation Group.
  • Benavot, A., and Gad, L. 2004. Actual instructional time in African primary schools: Factors that reduce school quality in developing countries . Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education, 24 (3), 291-310.
  • Ficarra, L., and Quinn, K. 2014. Teachers’ facility with evidence-based classroom management practices: An investigation of teachers’ preparation programmes and in-service conditions . Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 16 (2), 71-87.
  • Johnson, S. M., Berg, J. H., and Donaldson, M. L. (2005). Who stays in teaching and why: A review of the literature on teacher retention . Boston: Harvard Graduate School of Education, Project on the Next Generation of Teachers.
  • Mayer, J. E. 2007. Creating a safe and welcoming school. Paris: UNESCO International Bureau of Education.
  • Musset, P. 2010. Initial teacher education and continuing training policies in a comparative perspective: Current practices in OECD countries and a literature review on potential effects . OECD Education Working Papers, No. 48, OECD Publishing.
  • UNESCO. 2006. Positive discipline in the inclusive, learning-friendly classroom: A guide for teachers and teacher educators . Bangkok: UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.
  • Wubbels, T. 2011. An international perspective on classroom management: What should prospective teachers learn? Teaching Education (Special Issue: Classroom Management in Teacher Education), 22 (2), 113-131.

Related information

  • The More, the Better? The Impact of Instructional Time on Student Performance (IZA)
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Time Management

Tips for Time Management

Faculty life is full of diverse duties and responsibilities that can become overwhelmingly time-consuming. There is nothing you can do to get more time. "Multitasking" just means reducing the attention and the quality of our focus on individual tasks. Learning to control your time, however, may be a significant factor in your job success. Maybe your work life could benefit from the application of some time management tips specific to the faculty workload.

As part of our culture, we tend to separate work and life. Consider them related and:

  • Set clear goals for life roles, including your work. Translate those goals into a plan.
  • Do what is meaningful to you, in and outside of work. This should contribute to your ability to prioritize and not procrastinate. When your daily activities reflect your values, you experience personal fulfillment, less frustration and more energy. 
  • Accurately estimate how much time you need for everything you do. There is less chance of becoming overwhelmed or feeling guilty when you have assessed how to spend valuable time up front.
  • Schedule every bit of your time. Don't go into the office in the morning without an accurate plan as to how you will spend your day.
  • Keep track of what you need to do. Use a calendar for daily commitments. Make a project chart for longer-term commitments with due dates. Planning in these ways leverages time through focus.
  • Try to leave at least one day in your schedule with no meetings.
  • Schedule structured time with your colleagues and graduate students.
  • Discover your preferred work environment. Yes, you teach in a classroom, your meetings are all over campus, you meet students in your office during office hours... But make sure you have a determined place for all other work where distractions are minimized.
  • Do not check your email or answer the phone during time set aside for a specific task such as writing, course planning, or thinking. Protect this time.
  • When an unscheduled visitor shows up, stand. It helps end the interruption faster.

In his book The Time Trap , Alec Mackenzie presents a list of 20 most common "time robbers" based on survey data. In recognizing your "time robbers," you are better prepared to control events by developing, adopting and implementing a time strategy. Here are some examples relevant to faculty life:

  • Leaving tasks unfinished
  • Socializing
  • Telephone interruptions
  • Attempting too much
  • Drop-in visitors
  • Personal disorganization
  • Inability to say no
  • Procrastination
  • List tasks and prioritize them. This allows you to reasonably say no to new commitments. Use a project chart to remind you of your priorities and their relative time commitments.
  • Delegate as much as possible. Choose tasks carefully so that time for instructions and amending work is limited.
  • Learn to say no. Only take on new projects that directly dovetail into something you're already working on.
  • Monitor all of your duties as a faculty member related to Teaching, Research and Service. Be aware of the time each activity takes and remember to keep them prioritized appropriately.
  • Maintain a list of accomplished tasks. It gives you satisfaction and also saves time when compiling annual reports.
  •  Keep your email in-box empty. Delete, answer or move messages to folders as you read them. 
  • Transform email messages into tasks as appropriate and add them to your task list.
  • Monitor your time on the internet and social networking sites. 
  • Back-up all your work with hardcopies and on thumb drives.
  •  Limit the number of different classes you teach (number of preparations) to one or two per semester. 
  • Arrange your teaching schedule such that your classes meet on the same days. This arrangement will allow for uninterrupted blocks of time on other days.
  •  Create a master syllabus with boilerplate text and calendar dates and update it for each class.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Teach a course that has been taught before, either by you or by someone else, and start your preparation with existing materials. Use the textbook and its ancillary materials to your advantage.
  • Don’t over prepare. Limit your teaching preparation time. There’s only so much material you can fit into a 50- or 75-minute class. Monitor your prep-to-teach ratio and make sure you aren’t spending eight hours preparing for every hour you teach! A 2:1 ratio is appropriate for familiar topics. 
  • Use technology only when it adds value. You may enjoy learning new technology but monitor how much time you spend converting thoughts to floating boxes in PowerPoint. 
  • Occasionally substitute other activities for prepared lectures - class discussion, review, group activity, guest speaker, video, etc. This allows for reduced preparation time. 
  • Stagger your due dates. Collect major tests/assignments from different classes on different weeks so you don’t have everything to grade at once.

Additional Resources

  • Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School .  Medina, John.   Seattle, WA: Pear Press, 2009.
  • Coping with Obstacles to a Balanced Life . The Chronicle of Higher Education.  
  • Do you really not have the time?  The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Getting Things Done .  David Allen. A book on productivity. 
  • Lessons in Time Management . The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • The Time Trap: The Classic Book on Time Management . Alec Mackenzie. A book on how to squeeze the optimal efficiency and satisfaction out of the work day.
  • Time Management for New Faculty [pdf].   This article by Anastassia Ailamaki and Johannes Gehrke describes  techniques for time management for new faculty members, covering a wide range of topics ranging from advice on scheduling, meetings, email, to writing grant proposals and teaching.
  • Time Savers [pdf] . Tips from the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University. 

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Teaching Time Management Skills 

With a better understanding of time, students are able to plan and prioritize their work in ways that support academic success.

Illustration of a girl reading on a clock

Successful students are able to use their time effectively to get their work done. Teachers often encourage their students to use their time wisely and be efficient in their work habits without explicitly telling them how to do so. Providing explicit lessons on understanding time can be particularly challenging for new teachers, but there are several simple ways to teach students what time feels like. These lessons will make it much easier for students to independently self-monitor and better organize their time.

5 Ways to Teach Time

1. Encourage estimation. Before students begin an assignment, have them estimate how long they think it will take. After they complete the assignment, have them write down how long the assignment actually took and reflect on the estimation. Often students anticipate an assignment taking a shorter amount of time than it actually does. As a result, they may not set aside an adequate amount of time to complete the given assignment. Conversely, had they known the assignment would be completed quickly, the student may have prioritized work differently.  

As students progress through school, we want them to become better at organizing their schedules and prioritizing tasks. When students estimate and then reflect, they can be more aware of how long a given task will take and will anticipate accordingly. Initially it’s best to practice within class assignments. Once students have had practice, it can be incorporated into homework.

2. Use a visual. Use a timer that gives students a visual of the passing of time. This helps students stay on task and gives them a way to organize their time effectively. For example, if students have 10 minutes to finish four short written responses, when the timer hits 5 minutes, students should be reminded that they should be about halfway done. If this becomes a routine in a classroom, students can start to organize and prioritize the work they are completing independently.

3. Set a minimum. Teachers often give students a limit on the time they can use—for example, “You have 30 minutes to complete this assignment.” Instead, try setting a minimum rather than a maximum. By letting students know that the task should take at least 20 minutes, you are prompting them to slow down and monitor. Students might confuse speed for success. They are eager to announce, “I’m done,” but have rushed through the process.

Additionally, teachers can build in other systems that help students focus on the process rather than the product. For example, teachers can add in checklists or rubrics that students must refer to as they work on their assignment. This builds in natural moments of reflection. 

4. Incorporate silent time. Time, or the feeling of being timed, can cause anxiety to rise. As stress increases, one’s ability to utilize their executive functioning skills decreases.

At the beginning of a task or assessment, set a timer for a small amount of silent time, such as 5 minutes. During this time, students are not allowed to ask questions. You might find that when the 5 minutes are over, students have filtered their questions and either have gotten started or have identified their confusion. The use of silent time encourages students to implement a plan independently and initiate the task.

5. Try half timed and half not. When giving a task like recalling math facts, have students write their answers in pen for the first minute. Then, allow students to continue working untimed in pencil. This allows them to differentiate between automaticity and ability. Often the stress from being timed can negatively impact a student’s ability to showcase their knowledge. The use of a pencil and pen also allows students to reflect on how time restraints impact their learning.

Students need to learn how to organize time to be effective and productive. Fifteen minutes of playtime or screen time feels different than 15 minutes of writing. When teachers are explicit and teach students how to use time and give them a significant amount of practice, students will begin to internalize time and be able to independently plan and prioritize a given task. 

As students progress through school, they must eventually not only plan and prioritize a task but plan and prioritize many assignments over several weeks. In order to be successful, students must learn ways to organize their time efficiently and use their time effectively. If students can practice organizing their time when working on one task and experience success doing so, they can begin to generalize this skill and carry it out in their independent assignments. 

The Voki Blog – Expanding Education

A voice for classrooms across the globe, the importance of time management in class.


Time management is important because it helps you prioritize your work. After you have your list of daily tasks down, you need to figure out what you should do first. Those that are important should be the first ones you should tackle. Should the students learn this lesson first or do this activity first?

With time management, it helps you get more things done in less time. Once you map out your tasks and time, you can figure out how much time you can put into the task. Also, it can help you map out other fun activities in class!

Teachers, if you need some time management tips from Voki, check out our other blog post here !

Until next time,

The Voki Team


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3 thoughts on “ The Importance of Time Management in Class ”

It’s a pitty that curriculums are often so packed that it’s hard to stick the interesting stuff, like teacher’s first-hand experience with some matters, to the process. So indeed, it’s very important to manage time correctly in order to find the time for interesting stuff.

Thanks for sharing your experience its quite helpful for the reader.

Thanks for reading!

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Taking work home, grading papers well into the night, giving up your weekends to prepare class.

This can blur the boundaries of work life balance .

This is one reason why teachers are often stressed and suffer a high rate of job burnout .

You can be so busy preparing lesson plans, marking, and teaching that you forget about taking care of yourself!

time management at work gives you a greater sense of control.

Time management for teachers will:

  • provide you with stress relief and greater job satisfaction
  • increase your efficiency and effectiveness in the classroom
  • give you more time and improve the quality of your lessons.

This makes time management for teachers important for you and your students.

Here I provide four teacher time management tips.

These include:

Plan your workday

  • Focus on your important and urgent activities
  • Organize yourself and your workspace
  • Misbehaving students

A common thing I hear from teachers or in time management workshops is "I don’t have time to do any planning,” or “Things change too much to plan!”

But the simple fact is that planning saves time and gives you a greater sense of control over what you have to do.

Even if things don't stick to plan you can always come back to your plan when things settle.

A plan enables you to become more effective, organized, and reduce your stress.

Take 10 minutes a day to plan your day.

Abraham Lincoln reportedly once said, “If I had 60 minutes to cut down a tree, I would spend 40 minutes sharpening the ax and 20 minutes cutting it down.”

Time management for teachers can improve with planning your day and week in your personal organizer .

Spend 10 minutes planning what you can do between class times.

Getting your tasks down on paper and out of your mind reduces your stress and improves your focus

By having a plan you give yourself a greater sense of control and this allows you to decide how you are going to spend your time most effectively.

What to do with large tasks?

Sometimes there are large tasks that you cannot do in one sitting.

For example I have university marking that I need to do in the next three weeks - 120 papers that take 25 minutes each.

I break this task into smaller segments of 1-2 hours and put these into my time management schedule .

By breaking your tasks into chunks and scheduling them into your time management planner you increase your focus and reduce your stress as you progress.

Sometimes teachers can be so busy grading reports and preparing lesson plans that there is little time to focus on their own career goal setting .

Aim to work on your personal goal for a period each day.

Focus on important and urgent tasks

Teachers have alot to do!

Grading reports, preparing lessons, filing and administrative tasks, and responding to parent and student concerns.

This means that you probably won't get through everything so you want to make sure you get through things that are important to your job.

Prioritizing tasks improves time management for teachers.

Once you have a list of activities in your to do list , put your activities in order of priority.

Your 'A' tasks are very important and the consequences of not doing an 'A' task are high.

For example, if you don't prepare for tomorrow's Year 9 class before you leave today then that will put a lot of stress and pressure on you for tomorrow morning's class.

So essentially your 'A' tasks are your 'must do's'.

'B tasks' are not that important and the consequences are not so high.

Focus on those tasks that are top priority. According to the Pareto principle 20% of tasks yield 80% of results.

Search here for more time management for teachers tips.

Organizing tips for you and your workspace

Being organized saves you time.

Did you know that the average worker spends six weeks searching for documents they already have.

These documents are in their filing system, email folders, on their desk, or in their computer system.

Having an organized workspace, whether it is a desk or a storage area will save you time in trying to find things.

Being organized also reduces stress!

Misbehaving students and time management for teachers

As a teacher, one of the biggest challenges you face are uncooperative students.

Students who misbehave or who are not doing their homework can really eat into a teacher's time.

While each school district has their own policies, there are a number of things that you can do to maximize the chances that their homework goes to the top of their to do list.

I find that along with my to do list I also have a tracking sheet.

On this tracking sheet I record the homework that was not done or the tasks that were not conducted by the students.

For example if Jack did not do his homework then this would go on the tracking sheet, and only when he hands in that homework will his name come off the tracking sheet.

If his name does not come off the tracking sheet, or his name continues to be added onto the tracking sheet, then school policy dictates the outcomes.

I find that these two activities by themselves save teachers a lot of time.

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Time Management

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Importance Of Time Management In Teacher’s Life

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  • May 28, 2022

Table of Content

The usage of time in a productive way is known as time management. In today’s busy schedule, time management is the basic tool to properly sequence your professional and personal chores. Being busy the whole day does not mean you are effective. With good time management skills, you work smarter, not harder, by completing your task with minimal effort and time. Time management skills are a must for teachers as the amount of work they do with the responsibility of hundreds of tasks to cover.

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We know that classroom management is very difficult as the teacher needs to cover so many things in a few hours, but with effective time management skills, a teacher can increase their productivity and provide better education to their students. A teacher teaching needs to balance the long-term goals of the classroom. They also need to manage the large volume of paperwork that comes with assignments. So , time management in a teacher’s life is very important. 

A teacher’s time management can be broken into two parts:

  • Fixed hours that need to be spent in the classroom in which the teacher is teaching. 
  • 1-3 hours a day that needs to be spent outside the class, in which you need to make routine tasks for the next day, prepare lesson plans and make phone calls.

Many teachers also have to take work home and grade papers at night by giving up their weekends which usually hinders their work-life balance. This is one of the reasons why often most teachers are stressed out. So, if time management is followed by teachers, they will be stress-free, and there will be greater job satisfaction. It will also increase your effectiveness and efficiency in the classroom. Lastly, it will give you more time to improve the quality of your lessons. 

Time management, if followed properly, can help you in many ways:

  • It helps in making you organized

Being organized is one thing that needs to be followed by everyone. It will keep you updated about all your tasks. It will also help you to prioritize your routine systematically. It will reduce the burden of work, and everything will run smoothly. 

  • You will be more productive .

By proper planning of the tasks, you can boost your confidence and make yourself prepared for the entire day. There is a drastic change in your procrastination, and you become more energetic toward your assignments. 

  • It helps in creating a balance between professional and personal life .

You can enjoy your work more if you know how to manage your time. Professionalism is just a part of life, and hence, by scheduling it appropriately, you can have a perfect work-life balance. 

  • It helps in controlling stress and anxiety .

We all know that mental health is equally important as physical health, so by following time management, one can control their mental stress. By balancing your mental health, you can bring peace and comfort to yourself. 

  • Efficient results are visible .

A systematic approach to your tasks can never fail to bring futile results. It gives fast and efficient results. Also, it will help in progressing your personal growth. 

Some teaching tips need to be followed for effective time management:

  • Set your priorities right and organize your day. This will help you to be on track throughout the day. Prioritizing should be done by arranging workload based on both the importance of the task as well as the resulting impact of the task.
  • The homework and assignments should be planned strategically. Assignments that require repetitive practice must be assigned for home as they unnecessarily consume class time.  
  • Break up your grading material into small groups instead of grading the work of the entire class on the same day. A small pile each day is easier to manage. It allows the teacher to properly evaluate the assignment and offer feedback to students too.
  • Do not try to multitask. Take one step at a time. Try to cover one assignment at a time. Multitasking may help you to finish your work earlier, but it is least beneficial in terms of productivity. 
  • Always try to set aside some personal time. When you are exhausted due to a lack of personal care and time, it is very much possible that the classroom becomes less effective and efficient. Setting out some personal time will make you energetic, healthy, and refreshed. 

Time management is an important tool that, if not followed, can lead to distress and can delay your work more than usual. Teaching time management skills to adults is not easy as adults are less prone to adapting to new mechanisms. This requires proper effort and consistency. To give out 100% results and bring out efficiency in work, time management skills must be followed by teachers. If you are still facing difficulty in managing your work, then you should try connecting to Classplus, a platform for teachers to manage their works in an app with their own name and own brand. Here you can take classes and even sell your courses.

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College Students’ Time Management: a Self-Regulated Learning Perspective

  • Review Article
  • Published: 27 October 2020
  • Volume 33 , pages 1319–1351, ( 2021 )

Cite this article

  • Christopher A. Wolters   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8406-038X 1 &
  • Anna C. Brady 1  

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Despite its recognized importance for academic success, much of the research investigating time management has proceeded without regard to a comprehensive theoretical model for understanding its connections to students’ engagement, learning, or achievement. Our central argument is that self-regulated learning provides the rich conceptual framework necessary for understanding college students’ time management and for guiding research examining its relationship to their academic success. We advance this larger purpose through four major sections. We begin by describing work supporting the significance of time management within post-secondary contexts. Next, we review the limited empirical findings linking time management and the motivational and strategic processes viewed as central to self-regulated learning. We then evaluate conceptual ties between time management and processes critical to the forethought, performance, and post-performance phases of self-regulated learning. Finally, we discuss commonalities in the antecedents and contextual determinants of self-regulated learning and time management. Throughout these sections, we identify avenues of research that would contribute to a greater understanding of time management and its fit within the framework of self-regulated learning. Together, these efforts demonstrate that time management is a significant self-regulatory process through which students actively manage when and for how long they engage in the activities deemed necessary for reaching their academic goals.

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Wolters, C.A., Brady, A.C. College Students’ Time Management: a Self-Regulated Learning Perspective. Educ Psychol Rev 33 , 1319–1351 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-020-09519-z

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20 Effective Time Management Strategies and Tools for Students

Teachers can use these too!

Time Management Strategies including Pomodoro technique and timeboxing

One of the most important life skills for anyone to master is time management. Keeping track of everything that we have to do and carving out the time to get it all done can be a real struggle. Try these time management strategies and techniques, plus find helpful tools for staying on track.

General Time Management Strategies

Time management techniques, time management tools.

These time management strategies work for everyone, helping you set goals and prioritize, then set a schedule to get things done.

Visualize the big picture

2-page bullet journal spread showing a year-at-a-glance layout

Use a calendar of some type to lay out all your big-picture goals for a year, month, or week. Include major projects and assignments, as well as school and personal events. This is your place to get an overview of everything that’s on your plate. Keep items to broad descriptions: “History Project” or “Spring Play Opening Night.” You’ll get into the details next.

Break it down

Comic with first panel showing a person with tasks separated in smaller tasks, and the second panel showing a giant rock labeled

The next step is to take major projects and assignments and break them down into smaller, more manageable parts. This is an incredibly effective way to overcome that feeling of “I’ll never get this all done!” It also prevents procrastinating on an entire project until the very last minute. Set smaller, more manageable goals with their own due dates in advance of a complete project or event.

For example, imagine your big-picture calendar says “History Project Due Feb. 23.” Breaking that down could look like this:

  • Choose topic and presentation method: Jan. 9
  • Initial research: Jan. 10-30
  • Presentation outline: Jan. 31
  • Write presentation script: Feb. 1-5
  • Create visual aids: Feb. 6-12
  • Rehearse presentation: Feb. 13
  • Fine-tune presentation: Feb 14-16
  • Final rehearsals: Feb. 17
  • Give history presentation: Feb. 23

At first, this method might feel a little overwhelming, because it may make you feel like there’s too much to get done. But as you use it, you’ll see how it can actually make you feel more prepared and in control, and make your time easier to manage.

Determine priorities

Sometimes it’s simply true: You don’t have enough time in a day to get all the things done that you’d like to. That’s where setting priorities becomes vital. In the “Time Management Techniques” section below, you’ll find several different ideas for determining the priority of different items on your lists.

Once you’ve figured out which items are the most important, try a color-coding system to indicate which items get a higher priority. This will help you identify at a glance what you need to do now and what can wait until another day.

Make daily to-do lists

Simple task list in a bullet journal with scheduled items and to-do items in columns

Make it a habit to start each day by creating a to-do list. (Not a morning person? You can do this the night before too.) Include high-priority items, as well as things you’d like to do but may not have to complete. Throughout the day, as you complete an item, revisit your list and check it off. It’s incredibly satisfying to cross things off, and checking in with your list a few times a day ensures you don’t forget important things.

Limit multitasking

Today’s world places a lot of value on multitasking (doing several things at once). But when you’re doing multiple things at the same time, you’re probably not doing any of them well. So keep your multitasking to a minimum. When it’s time to work on something, set your focus to that particular thing. Other stuff can wait.

But some multitasking is OK. For instance, you might throw your clothes in the washing machine, then work on your math homework while waiting for them to be ready for the dryer. Later on, you could fold and put away the laundry while practicing conjugating Spanish verbs out loud. This type of multitasking works because the physical tasks are ones that don’t require much concentration, leaving your brain free for academic subjects.

On the other hand, avoid something like trying to listen to a podcast for your history class while also doing your math homework. Your attention won’t be fully on each, and your learning will suffer.

Remove distractions

Comic showing a student trying to study amidst a variety of distractions

Some people are capable of deep focus no matter what’s going on around them. Most of us, though, need to find ways to remove distractions when it’s time to get down to work. Here are some examples to try:

  • Turn off your phone, or set it to alert you only in case of emergencies.
  • Wear noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to block out distracting sounds. A white-noise machine or app can help with this too.
  • Close miscellaneous tabs in your web browser (like social media or news sites), and use only the tabs you need for your work.
  • Go into a quiet room and shut the door. Ask friends and family not to disturb you.
  • Check your to-do list before you start to make sure you’re on track. Then, clear your mind of other projects or tasks, and focus on what’s at hand.

Do an end-of-day review

At the end of each day, sit down with your to-do list. Was there anything you didn’t get to? Move it to another day. Did you feel too rushed today? Think about how you might make tomorrow run a bit more smoothly. Where do you stand in terms of your big-picture goals? Take a few minutes to adjust any plans accordingly.

Try a time audit

It’s OK if you don’t get to everything on your list every day. But if you find that there’s never enough time to get things done, you might benefit from a time audit. Over the period of a week or two, write down exactly how you spend your time, hour by hour. Then, look it over and see if you can identify problem areas. You might need to cut down on some optional activities and give that time to high-priority items instead. Learn how to do a time audit here.

The time management strategies we’ve talked about so far are general ways to stay on track and get stuff done. But there are multiple ways to approach some of these strategies, especially when it comes to actually settling down to work. Check out these popular time management techniques and choose one or more that seem right for you.

Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Eisenhower's four part matrix for determining the priority of tasks

President Eisenhower developed this matrix and used it to help him prioritize his tasks. He looked at each item to evaluate it by importance and urgency, then broke them into four categories:

  • Do First: These are urgent, important tasks with high priority.
  • Schedule: These are important tasks that aren’t quite as urgent.
  • Delegate: You may be able to delegate less important but still urgent tasks to someone else.
  • Don’t Do: These non-urgent, unimportant items can be eliminated entirely or postponed indefinitely.

Here are some possible student examples for each category:

  • Do First: Homework that’s due tomorrow takes top priority, as might doing laundry if you’re out of clean clothes.
  • Schedule: Set aside time (see Time Blocking) for smaller parts of long-term projects, such as research time or writing an outline. That could be today or one day in the near future.
  • Delegate: Students aren’t always able to delegate their tasks, but they can ask for help. For example, if your schedule is incredibly tight, you could ask your dad if he’d be willing to throw your clothes in the dryer when the washer is done.
  • Don’t Do: These are often bad habits you need to break, like surfing the web aimlessly instead of working, or texting your friends for hours instead of doing your chores.

Find out much more about the Eisenhower Matrix and how to use it for time management strategies here.

ABCDE Method

ABCDE method of prioritizing tasks, from Must-Do (A) to Eliminate (E)

This is another time management strategy for prioritizing the tasks at hand. Assign each item a letter:

  • A: Highest priority
  • B: Should do soon, if not today
  • C: Could do, but no serious consequences if not done
  • D: Delegate or ask for help
  • E: Eliminate from your list

This is very similar to the Eisenhower Matrix, with a little more flexibility around should-dos and could-dos. Learn more about the ABCDE method here.

Most Difficult First (Eat That Frog)

Eat That Frog: Choose the hardest task, the one you're most likely to procrastinate, and do it first

This method is based on a quote often attributed to Mark Twain: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

In other words, don’t put off the biggest, hardest tasks. Get them out of the way first. Then, everything else you have to do will seem easy in comparison.

For some people, though, this concept can be counterproductive. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, tackling something extremely difficult can be too much and cause you to shut down entirely. In that case, it’s just fine to choose smaller, simpler items. The key is to make progress, one step at a time.

Pomodoro Technique

Graphic explanation of the Pomodoro technique method of time management

The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time management method: You work for 25 minutes at a time, then take a 5-minute break to rest and recharge. Simply set a timer for 25 minutes, and focus on one single task until it goes off. Then, you can spend 5 minutes stretching, resting your eyes, or checking your social media feeds. When the 5 minutes are up, set the timer for another 25 minutes, and get back to work. If you do four 25-minute sessions in a row, take a longer break afterwards. Learn more about the Pomodoro Technique here.

Clockify app screen showing times for work and break

If 25 minutes seems too short and you’d like a little more uninterrupted time, try Flowtime instead. This stretches out both the work and break time proportionally. If you work for 25-50 minutes, take an 8-minute break. For 50-90 minutes, you get a 10-minute break. And if you’ve been at it for more than 90 minutes, take 15 minutes to recharge. Learn about Flowtime here.

Explanation of a timebox, a type of time management tool

Parkinson’s Law says that work will always expand to fill the amount of time available. Timeboxing seeks to shrink tasks back to the size they truly need to be. When you timebox, you set a specific amount of time for a task and complete it within that time.

In other words, you might look over your study planner and decide that you need one hour for tonight’s geometry and chemistry assignments, plus you’d like to spend another hour working on your English essay.

Set a timer and work on your geometry and chemistry for an hour, with no other distractions. When the timer goes off, reassess and adjust your goals as needed. Since you have to finish that homework tonight, you’ll probably need to add more time if you’re not finished.

Your English essay isn’t due for two weeks, though, so if you’ve boxed out one hour for working on it today, that’s all you need to do. Set a timer, determine your goals for day, and get to work. When the timer goes off, you’re done for today.

Here’s more on timeboxing.

Time Blocking

A calendar showing an example of time blocking for a student's week

This method is similar to timeboxing, but it involves setting blocks of time aside on your calendar for specific tasks. For example, you might block out 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day for daily homework, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for working on your biology research paper, and 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for piano practice. Some people like to start each day by blocking time out on their calendar, figuring out how they’ll make the most of their time. Find out more about time blocking here.

Page layout from Five Star academic planner, with a smartphone displaying the Five Star Study App

Once you’ve selected some time management strategies to try, you’ll find plenty of tools to help make them work. Check out these top time management tools for students, from planners to timers and beyond.

Student Planners

Traditional paper planners come in a variety of styles, with some made especially for students. The most important thing is to choose one you’ll actually use, and keep it on hand at all times. See our selection of the top student planners here.

Planner Apps

Planner apps and online calendars are nice because you have access to them everywhere you go. For students, we really like:

  • My Study Life

See more details on each of these here, plus more options.

Study Planners

Study planners are specific to academics, and they are a simple way to keep track of both short-term and long-term assignments, projects, and more. Check out these free printable options:

  • Develop Good Habits: Study Planner
  • Alex Marie: Weekly Assignments Due
  • Sophia Lee: Homework Planner Pack

Time Management Apps

Planner apps are a good start, but other time management apps can help you stay on track by eliminating distractions or setting time limits. Here are a few to try:

  • Pomofocus : A free online 25–5 timer with the ability to add a task list for each work segment
  • Rize : An AI productivity coach that uses time tracking to improve your focus and build better work habits
  • Forest : Eliminate distractions, stay on task, and grow a digital forest to celebrate your achievements

Bullet Journal

Bullet journaling has a lot of benefits, and some page setups are especially good for time management:

  • Daily Schedule
  • Project Planner
  • Study Tracker

Check out our big roundup of bullet journal ideas here.

What time management strategies do your students find most effective? Come share your thoughts and ask for advice in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, ultimate study skills guide: tips, tricks, and strategies for every grade ..

Find helpful time management strategies for kids and teens like the Pomodoro Technique, plus tools like time management apps and planners.

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Essay on Time Management

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  • Aug 27, 2022

Essay on Time Management (1)

“Time isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing”- Mile Davis.

Time management is a prestigious topic for budding subconscious minds. It is one of the most crucial skills that you must inculcate from early on. This skill has vital importance when you move into a professional setting. It is extremely important to manage time efficiently as not managing time can create many problems in your day-to-day life. It is also a common essay topic in the school curriculum and various academic and competitive exams like IELTS , TOEFL , SAT , UPSC , etc. This blog brings you samples of essays on time management with tips & tricks on how to write an essay.

Essay on Time Management in 200 words

Time stops for none and is equal for all. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day but some people make better use of time than others. This is one of the most important reasons some people are experts in what they do. Therefore, time management plays a vital role in both personal as well as professional lives.

Time management is basically an effort made consciously to spend a certain amount of time performing a task efficiently. Furthermore, it is estimated that to have better results, one needs to do productive work. Thus, productivity is the key focus here. Moreover, maintaining a careful balance between professional life, social life, and any other hobbies or activities is a great example of efficient time management.

Time management is also crucial for students from an academic perspective as students require to cover many subjects. Thus, efficiently managing time is an important skill in everyone’s life.  Around the world, there are two views for time management – linear time view and multi-active time view. The linear time view is predominant in America, Germany and England, and it aims at completing one task at a time. Whereas a multi-active view aims at completing a number at once and is predominant in India and Spain. Nevertheless, time management is one of the important traits of a successful individual, students are advised to follow whichever is convenient for them.

Essay on Time Management in 300 Words

Time Management is a key skill for job opportunities as employers recruit candidates who have this efficient skill. Thus, it is advised to initiate inculcating this vital skill as soon as possible. In the academic setting, time management plays a vital role and helps in the accomplishment of tasks efficiently and effectively.

Time management is the process of planning and performing pre-scheduled activities with the aim of increasing productivity, effectiveness and efficiency. Different cultures hold different views on Time Management. However, a multi-active time view and a linear time view are the two predominant views. In a linear time view, the aim is set to complete one particular task at a time whereas, in a multi-active view, the focus is on completing a greater number of tasks at once. Emphasis is given on productivity and effectiveness, but students are free to choose their own view of time management.

Time management is crucial as it is helpful in setting a timeline for achieving a particular goal. Moreover, it also increases the efficiency of the tasks at hand. It becomes necessary for working professionals as they need to balance their personal and professional life. Thus, they do not have time to dwell on each and every detail in every task. In such cases, a multi-active view is one of the helpful methods. Time management works best when a goal or target is set. For instance, a student becomes far more effective at learning when they decide to assign 2 hours for learning a particular concept. This is effectively a method of benchmarking progress. So, every time the activity is performed, one can measure themselves and improve upon various aspects of their tasks.The clear conclusion is that time management is a crucial skill for students and working professionals. Thus, everyone must practise time management to improve productivity and efficiency of tasks.

Tips for Writing an Essay on Time Management

To write an impactful and scoring essay here are some tips on how to manage time and write a good essay:

  • The initial step is to write an introduction or background information about the topic
  • You are required to use the formal style of writing and avoid using slang language.
  • To make an essay more impactful, write dates, quotations, and names to provide a better understanding
  • You can use jargon wherever it is necessary as it sometimes makes an essay complicated
  • To make an essay more creative you can also add information in bulleted points wherever possible
  • Always remember to add a conclusion where you need to summarise crucial points
  • Once you are done read through the lines and check spelling and grammar mistakes before submission

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Lastly, we hope this blog has helped you in structuring a terrific essay on time management. Planning to ace your IELTS, get expert tips from coaches at Leverage Live by Leverage Edu .

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Essay on Time Management for Students and Children

500+ words essay on time management.

Essay on time management-In today’s scenario people are so busy in their lives that they are not getting time for themselves. Due to which time management has become the need of the hour. Time management is playing a vital role in mankind . Time management creates discipline or vice versa. If you want to be successful in life then you need to manage your time. As a result, various billionaires teach about time management.

Essay on time management

The Meaning of Time Management

In our daily life, we have got only twenty-four hours in a day. Therefore we cannot do everything in one day. This creates limitations in our everyday work. In order to manage work, social life and sleep, division of time is important. In a particular way division of time is the need. This will help the person to complete all his tasks. You should write your tasks in a schedule.

Designing has to be in a way that each task gets enough time. Your work should have the highest priority. The second priority should sleep. And the last but not the least your social life. Your social life includes family and friends.

In order to live a happy and peaceful life socializing is important. Too much workload can make a person ill. So, give your mind a little rest. Spending time with family can help you with this. Moreover, the main purpose to work is to fulfill the needs of the family. Since the fulfillment of needs is important. Which makes a person happy.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Importance of Time Management for Students

Though adults are working, the students are not spared with work. The students today have many studies to do. Because of this, they are not getting time to enjoy their childhood. Time management for students has become a crucial need. Education has become vast. Therefore proper scheduling of time is important.

time management for teachers essay

A good student knows the importance of studies . But he should also know time never comes back. Thus a student should take out time for personal development too. Since personal development is important for their proper growth. Moreover, personality development is also important for a student. They should at least take out one hour for sports. Sports teach student teamwork. Since it is enjoyable it lessens the stress of the day.

The daily routine is School or college, and then coaching. This leaves with no time of self-studies. Self-study is an important aspect of education. The student should not neglect this. As the day ends, they get too tired. Due to which there is no energy left. This degrades the performance of the student.

There is a difference between a topper and an average student. That difference is proper time management. A topper student schedules his time. While an average student does not do that. And because he never manages time, he gets no time for self-study. Which in turn leaves him behind.

How to Manage Time?

A person should eliminate unnecessary activities from their daily schedule. On weekends you should do it. Especially should socialize on weekends. Also, include traveling time in the schedule. This ensures accuracy.

Most Noteworthy, make a time table on paper. In which you should write your daily activities. This will create discipline in your life. Moreover, you should complete the task daily. However, there will be some changes in the schedule with time.

Finally, your schedule needs to be practical. You cannot make a schedule unless you know your daily timings. Each persons’ schedule is unique if you copy you won’t progress in life.

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