If there's one thing every teacher would like to have, it's time. Between grading, lesson planning, and dealing with administrative duties, it can feel like there's hardly any time to complete the work you have to do when you're not in the classroom. But with some planning and forethought you can make the best use of the time you have and even open up time you didn't have previously. Use these tips for utilizing your non-teaching time to get started!
Use a Planner
If you don't already use a planner to plan out the things you need to do, it's a great habit to get into. Being able to visualize all of your tasks helps break them down from the nebulous cloud they form in your mind, and gives you an actual picture of everything you need to do.
Do Similar Tasks at the Same Time
Instead of trying to fill a 20 minute break with a little bit of everything, devote it to one task. This way, instead of trying to tackle a bunch of different tasks and not getting far in any of them, you'll be able to make a more sizable dent in one area. You'll feel more accomplished, and you'll be able to get more done. Devote separate time to answering emails, lesson planning, etc., and watch as your productivity increases!
You may feel obligated to get to work on out-of-class tasks as soon as class is over, but if you're like most teachers, your energy levels are probably at their lowest at this point. Don't try to tackle big tasks when you don't have the energy for it. This is a good time to take care of less labor-intensive work like minor administrative duties.
Break Down Tasks
Try to break down your tasks into smaller, more manageable bits. Taking a big task and reducing it into its constituent parts makes it seem less overwhelming.
Always be Ready
If you're lucky, time will appear out of nowhere when you least expect it. It might not even be a large amount of time, but if you find you have an extra 10 minutes, be prepared to use it. For example, keep some lesson planning materials with you at all times so when you do get an unforeseen break, you can take advantage!