Time waits for no man, woman, or teacher. We’ve all experienced those moments when, if we just had that little bit more time to complete a task, we’d get more done to a higher standard.

Teachers will often be swamped in lesson planning, teaching, marking, meetings, running school trips, parents’ evenings - you name it, a teacher has probably had to do it at some point, both during term time and throughout the school holidays. Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re probably in need of just a bit more time...but, in short of giving up eating and sleeping altogether (which none of us want to do!), what can you do about it?

The answer is: plenty! If you work smarter, and plan your time well, you’ll be able to put down that marking, go home, enjoy a relaxing evening, safe in the knowledge that you’re still a great teacher. We’ve put together a list of top tips to help you do just this:

Create to-do lists

We know that this sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised what a difference this can make to your day. It can increase your productivity, and save you time when you’re trying to work out what tasks you need to complete. If you split your tasks into three categories, essential, important, and non-essential, you’ll be able to prioritise. Most importantly, do not feel guilty about transferring incomplete tasks to the next day.

Be organised

Keep your workspace and your folders and paperwork organised. This will save time when you’re looking for anything you need. And, a tidy desk equals a tidy mind, right?

Plan ahead…

...for both the short term and the long term, if possible. Keeping on top of lesson planning is key, but if you can plan ahead for the entire term for any major events, it’ll save you time. There are plenty of online tools and apps that can help you do this. Also, consider planning ahead to stay late a couple of times a week, so you can complete what you need to at school, to avoid bringing lots home with you.

Make time for your free time

Scheduling in time for family, friends, hobbies and general life admin can make a real difference. You’ll have something to look forward to, and if you schedule in time to relax and have fun, you’ll be more likely to make sure you’ve got everything you need to do done first.

Start saying no

If you’re always the first to volunteer to run that extra-curricular netball club, or at the front of the queue to get on the drama trip with the year 8s, try and take a step back once in a while. Obviously it’s great to take part and be a real asset to the school, but there are plenty of others who can do so too.

Only mark what’s necessary

Proving helpful feedback to students is important. But, make sure you’re not spending far more time than you need to, as spending hours correcting every piece will eat into your time and spill over into your social life. Getting students to peer review and peer mark sometimes can also help to guard against a marking overload.

The key to using your time wisely is to utilise your time during the day – work smarter not harder and make sure to take well-earned breaks. You deserve them!

If you want to put your time management skills to the test, search our available roles today.