Using Technology to Better Manage Your Time
We all have twenty-four hours in a day, but when you are a teacher sometimes it feels like these hours have significantly less than sixty minutes in them. Teachers have so much on their plate. Time management skills are crucial to getting everything done. Teachers can leverage technology to improve their time management.
Identify the Problem Areas
The first is to take responsibility for how you spend your time. Taking a good hard look at how we spend our day can give us insights on where time is being wasted. Spending a week or two journaling how time is spent can be a very useful activity for teachers. This could be accomplished by keeping a simple paper journal or by keeping track of your time using a spreadsheet or even an app. Teachers should find a way to journal that is the least obtrusive.
Our mobile devices can save us time throughout our day. These devices can also cause us to waste valuable minutes. These minutes can add up to significant segments of time if we are not careful. Luckily, there are also apps that we can install on these devices to monitor the usage of these devices. This might sound like a scary proposition at first but we cannot work on solutions until we admit we have a problem. For those of us that need a little extra help in this area we can even set up alerts to tell us when we have used up our allotted time for a certain app. Once again maybe just spend a week or two on this activity to identify the time wasters in your day. Then work to eliminate or reduce them.
Use Technology to Plan Your Day
Careful planning of your day is also another great time management activity. How many times have we gotten to the end of the day and wondered where the time went? Taking time to plan how you will spend your hours in a day helps to keep them from slipping away. Technology can really help us in this area. Online calendars help with scheduling events and reminding us so we do not miss them. You can even sync these calendars to your mobile device.
Many online calendars are built right into the email applications we are already using. You might just need to take a little time to learn about the features of your program and how to use those best to work for you. Once again calendars and scheduling need to be easy to use and as unobtrusive as possible. If they are not you will not use them because they cost you more time than they save.
Online calendars can be an especially helpful time management tool for teams. Knowing the times when your team members have important events scheduled, can help us to avoid unnecessary interruptions. It can also help with planning meetings and other group activities.
To make the most of any scheduling application, especially when you hope to use it in a group proper training is key. Take the time to educate group members on how to use the technology. Set up basic rules on how the group will utilize the technology so everyone will understand its importance.
Ownership of your time is an important first step in a time management plan. Then it is just a matter of finding the right tools to help you make the most of your twenty-four hours in each day. Don’t be afraid to try out new technologies to find the tool that works best for you.