Teachers' time and task management guide

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Teachers' time and task management guide
Main Subject
Resource type
Teaching pack

Strategies, advice and tools to develop your workload, task, and time management skills.

Effective time management and work-life balance are essential for teachers' wellbeing.

Maximise your time and feel more in control with this guide to over 20 essential time and task management strategies, designed specifically to support teachers. 

With concise summaries of the leading international theories on goal-setting, prioritising workload and navigating change, this guide is full of instantly actionable ideas and helpful template resources to really help teachers make more of their time.

How do I use this time management guide?

The 67-page guide is divided into four sections. You can either work each section in order, or dip into the specific sections you’d like to target.

It’s easy to go back to learn more about specific time management and prioritisation strategies as needed, or simply print and use the accompanying templates and resources.

Effective time and task management

Throughout the downloadable guide, you’ll find evidence-based strategies that work for a range of professional and personal situations, and practical ideas that will help you to cope with some of the pressures of teaching.

Choose from goal-setting strategies, methods for beating procrastination, or techniques for prioritising your workload and coping with change. 

This guide is designed so that even if you’re strapped for time, you can still find the key information you need quickly and easily.

There’s a handy summary of each theory and a ready-to-use template to help you implement the new theory. When you find a technique or strategy you want to try, simply print off the template and start reaping the benefits.

Change management at work and at home

This guide also includes strategies and advice for dealing with, and planning for, change in your work or home life. Explore the circle of influence and control technique, nudge theory, the Kübler-Ross change curve framework, and the Bridges transition model to find a strategy which resonates with you and is most useful for your particular context or challenge.

Support for new teachers

The first year of teaching is a huge learning curve, particularly when it comes to managing time, prioritising workload and figuring out the best work-life balance.

In this guide, experienced teachers share tips and advice for reducing your workload and getting support from your colleagues and managers. There are also useful tips and templates to help new teachers build and maintain a good balance between their work and personal life — a major challenge for all teachers, but particularly difficult for newer teachers!

What’s included?

  • Goal-setting theories, advice and templates, including the SMART goal and BHAG approach.
  • Tips for effective time management, including how to make the most of PPA/non-contact time and lunchtimes.
  • Strategies and resources for beating procrastination and prioritising your workload effectively.
  • Advice, strategies, and resources to support dealing with, and planning for, change at work and at home.
  • A dedicated section for new teachers with ideas and advice on reducing workload, getting support from colleagues and managers, and good work-life balance.

What you’ll find inside

Section 1: Time and task management strategies

Goal-setting theories and prioritisation and productivity principles: 

  • SMART goal template
  • BHAG template 
  • Getting prepared to teach 
  • Sunday sit-down templates
  • Time and task management tips and templates
  • Beating procrastination
  • Eat the Frog template
  • Pomodoro Technique template
  • Eisenhower matrix
  • Ivy Lee method
  • Pareto principle
  • ABCDE method
  • Time box method
  • Zen to done
  • MoSCoW
  • Don’t break the chain
  • Personal kanban
  • Reviewing and monitoring your progress

Section 2: Change management strategies

Dealing with (and planning for) change at work and home: 

  • Circles of influence and control template
  • Nudge theory template
  • The Kübler-Ross change curve template
  • Bridges transition model template

Section 3: Workload management tips for new teachers

  • Ways to reduce your workload 
  • Getting help and support from colleagues and managers
  • Balancing your teacher self with your other self
  • Commitment inventory template
  • Other tips for balancing working life and home life

Section 4: Further help

  • Useful books
  • Teachit wellbeing resources 
  • Further reading

An extract from the teachers' guide: 

Prioritisation and productivity principles:

Here are some other prioritisation and productivity strategies that you might find will help to make you a better teacher/partner/parent/relative/friend! 

With a range of strategies and techniques to try, all with high success rates, you’ll find an approach to complement your work habits, lifestyle, and personal interests. 

The Eisenhower matrix 

Designed by Eisenhower — a five-star general during World War II and the 34th president of the United States — the Eisenhower Matrix is a list of tasks prioritised by their urgency and importance. 

Simple, but very effective, the Eisenhower Matrix explores the difference between urgent and important tasks, and works on the principle that there are 'two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.' 

The matrix itself is easy to use. The x-axis has the words 'urgent' and 'not urgent'. The y-axis has the words 'important' and 'not important'. Put each task in its proper square and complete the activities that fall into the top-left box first. 

Teachers' time and task management guide
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