EDCI 6237 Time Management


WELCOME

Welcome to "Time Management for Educators". Time is our most precious commodity. This course will help you understand and managed your time as well as offering a practical blueprint for future change in the way you operate as a teacher.

This course is divided into four modules:

  • All about time
  • Time management tools
  • Practicing time management
  • Developing time management habits for the future

As you work through this course you will:

  • learn about the nature of time
  • consider your personal relationship with time
  • learn how to prioritize tasks effectively
  • learn a range of valuable time management skills and tools that are specific to the school context
  • explore how best to deploy time management skills in a range of scenarios
  • learn when to say 'No' to inappropriate requests
  • incorporate the benefits of effective time management in the wider picture of your life

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PREPARATION

There is no preparation for this course.

COURSE STRUCTURE

This is an independent study program which means your individual starting date and due date are based on your date of registration. Your instructor will advise you of this due date.

This is an interactive on-line course. Although you will be able to complete some of it just by sitting in front of your screen working through the on-line material, we will regularly ask you to reflect on what you have learned, and put ideas into practice.

  • Activities - exercises or reflections for you to carry out in front of your computer screen. Unlike a Task, there is no specific end product, and you'll always be able to complete them on your own.
  • Tasks - similar to Activities, but requiring you to put your learning into practice in a specific situation in school.
  • Forms - use to collect the information learned.
  • Resources -

    a) RESOURCE FORMS: Has PDF forms to help you answer questions in the Student Books

    b) RESOURCE FURTHER READING: Includes clarifications about the module.

    c) REFERENCE LINKS: Has links to websites referred to in the module.

    d) DEFINITIONS: Has definitions of terms used in the module.

    e) BIBLIOGRAPHY: The bibliography is located at the bottom of this page that includes books you may check out at your local library.

  • Student Book- for you to record your reflections and send to your instructor.

STUDENTBOOK

At any time you may email your instructor with questions or problems you may be having with the material or the web site.

How do I get the Student Book to my instructor?

You will need to email it to your instructor. Download and save the document as described below and then you can enter your own text into the Student Book word document. Your instructor will expect a version of your Student Book as you complete each module. These can be saved by you in your files as well as being sent to your course instructor via email as an email attachment.

How do I save and name the Student Book?

You cannot type your answers on this web site. You must download your Student Book template which is a word document, by clicking on the download link below.

For your Student Book, please use a text document or a Microsoft Word document and type your text there. Title the document like this:

  • NAME OF CLASS
  • NAME OF TEACHER
  • YOUR NAME
  • DATE
  • MODULE1

[NAMEOFCLASS_TEACHERSNAME_YOURNAME_MODULENUMBER.doc ]

like this

6208_DRCLARK_JOHNDOE_MODULE1.doc

Save the Student Book on your computer and complete the assignments on the document and then email it to your teacher.

STUDENTBOOKS Click here to download all student books

RESOURCES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

REFERENCE LINKS

Module 1: All about time

MODULE1A Intended learning outcomes for Module 1

MODULE1B Activity 1: What is time?

MODULE1C Activity 2: Your relationship with time

MODULE1D Activity 3: Your perception of time

MODULE1E Tracking time

MODULE1F Task 1: An activity log (1)

MODULE1G Task 1: An activity log (2)

MODULE1H Activity 4: Analyzing your activity log (1)

MODULE1I Activity 5: Analyzing your activity log (2)

MODULE1J Activity 6: Analyzing your activity log (3)

MODULE1K Activity 7: Making time

MODULE1L The crux of the matter

MODULE1M What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 1

MODULE1N Congratulations

Module 2 Time management tools

MODULE2A Intended learning outcomes for Module 2

MODULE2B Pacing yourself

MODULE2C Activity 8: Pacing yourself (1)

MODULE2D Activity 9: Pacing yourself (2)

MODULE2E Activity 10: Saying "no"

MODULE2F Managing information

MODULE2G Speed reading

MODULE2H Activity 11: Speed reading

MODULE2I Using time twice

MODULE2J Activity 12: Using time twice

MODULE2K The notion of personal leadership

MODULE2L Task 2: The notion of personal leadership

MODULE2M Choosing the right method of communication

MODULE2N Procrastination and perfectionism: time management enemies!

MODULE2O Activity 13: Procrastination

MODULE2P Activity 14: Perfectionism

MODULE2Q Taking rest

MODULE2R Task 3: Taking rest

MODULE2S What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 2

MODULE2T Congratulations


Module 3 Practicing time management

MODULE3A Intended learning outcomes for Module 3

MODULE3B Identifying problems and potential solutions

MODULE3C Activity 15: Information overload

MODULE3D Activity 16: Meeting madness

MODULE3E Activity 17: Saying "no"

MODULE3F Activity 18: Pacing demands

MODULE3G Making lists

MODULE3H Task 4: Identifying current time management issues

MODULE3I Activity 19: Commitment to actual change

MODULE3J Activity 20: A summary of tips and principles

MODULE3K What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 3

MODULE3L Congratulations

Module 4: Developing time management habits for the future

MODULE4A Intended learning outcomes for Module 4

MODULE4B How do you want to view time?

MODULE4C Activity 21: Your vision of a "time managed" future

MODULE4D Personal goal setting

MODULE4E Activity 22: Personal goal setting – stage 1

MODULE4F Activity 22: Personal goal setting – stage 2

MODULE4G Activity 23: Action planning

MODULE4H Zoning time

MODULE4I Activity 24: Zoning time

MODULE4J What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 4

MODULE4K Congratulations


MODULE1 All about time.

MODULE1A Intended learning outcomes for Module 1

By the end of this module you should:

  • have an understanding of time awareness
  • know your time habits – how you presently organize and spend your time
  • know what you need to make time for at work
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MODULE1B Activity 1: What is time?

Time can be an elusive concept. By way of an introduction to some of the issues and complexities about time, read the following article called How is time related to mind? from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy website. You can find the article here.
While you are reading (and just read section 2 for now), make a note of anything that strikes a chord with you. You may find the following pointers helpful, but don't feel restricted by them in any way. They're just intended to form a framework around which you might develop an understanding of time and its link to the mind.

The article highlights the difference between physical and psychological time. Can you think of any examples of this distinction in your life currently?
What's your view of the notion explored of our perception of the order of events?
Do you agree with the view that time is a form of conscious experience?
Summarize your reactions to reading this article in your Student book (1).

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MODULE1C Activity 2: Your relationship with time

How would you describe your relationship with time? As you've chosen to do this course, you probably think you have too little time to do all the things you need and want to do. The point of this Activity is to reflect on your current relationship with time, and to make an initial assessment of your general time management.
Resource 1: Thoughts on time contains some extracts and ideas about time which you may identify with as you consider this question. When you've read through the Resource, record your thoughts in your Student book (2).

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MODULE1D Activity 3: Your perception of time

Read Resource 2, which talks about how time can seem to pass more quickly at some times rather than others.

Then reflect, in your Student book (3), on how your own perception of time can vary.

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MODULE1E Tracking time
You've started to think about what time means to you as a general concept. So now would be a good point to start to track your time. Although tracking how you spend your time doesn't in itself help you to manage your time, it does give you a clearer understanding of how you spend it.

This will provide you with invaluable information when it comes to future organization of the time available to you.

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MODULE1F Task 1: An activity log (1)

Note: For this Task, you need only record the time you spend actually working. It's not in the remit of this course to help you manage your leisure time, although obviously many of the principles can be usefully applied to your time out of work too.

To learn how you manage your time, you need as much detail as possible on how you spend your time. That means keeping a personal log for at least a week. Print off Resource 3: Activity log form that you should keep with you.

Make entries through the day for each new activity, using a new sheet for each half day if necessary. Use your own shorthand to keep words to a minimum.

Throughout the working day, each time you start a new activity, write down what you are doing with the start and finish times. Record the actual time that things happened, not what the school schedule says.

Example: 8:00 - 8:15 - Take Attendance.

When you have a moment, and at least once a day, look for gaps in the record and try to fill them in. So, if you finished taking attendance at 8:15 and your first lesson started at 8:30, you need an entry for the intervening time. This is important.
In the middle column write a brief description of the activity. Use simple categories. For some suggestions, click on Resource 4: Categories of activity. In the right hand column, add anything that will jog your memory when you try to picture the activity in your mind later.

For example,

  • homework discussion - Sonia H.
  • checked Facebook
  • met with Ron about behavior
  • walked to office to get mail

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MODULE1G Task 1: An activity log (2)
So now go ahead and keep your log for a week's worth of working time. Then return to this section of the course.

Use whichever means suits you best to record how you spend your time – you can complete the form provided by hand, you can create your own form, or you may prefer to set up your own log on a laptop. Whatever you do, you should try to keep your log with you at all times.

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MODULE1H Activity 4: Analyzing your activity log (1)
Gather together all the data you collected in your activity log. If you've handwritten the data you collected, make a photocopy of the completed sheets. If you've transferred the data to a computer, print off one copy. You will need this copy for the next Activity.
Lay out the copy of your log in front of you so that you can see every sheet clearly. You'll probably find it useful simply to read through what's there at this stage, if only to remind you of all the activities you have been engaged in over the last week or so. What are your initial reactions to the data you have gathered? Note your thoughts in your Student book (4).

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MODULE1I Activity 5: Analyzing your activity log (2)

With the completed activity log in front of you, you're now ready to start sorting the data. Go through the log and color-code the activities to separate them into four categories.
For each activity, you are going to decide whether it was:

  • urgent and important
  • not urgent but important
  • urgent but not important
  • not urgent and not important


First, print out and read Resource 5, which illustrates these categories in a way designed by Stephen Covey. Keep this resource next to you

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MODULE1J Activity 6: Analyzing your activity log (3)

Get four felt-tip pens, highlighters or pencils, each a different color. With the copy of you completed log in front of you, do the following:
Mark in one color the activities that you consider to be both urgent and important (from quadrant 1 on the Resource 5 table). Add up the total time spent on these. What types of activities are these? Enter your responses in your Student book (5).

Next, mark in a different color the activities that you consider to be important but not urgent (from quadrant 2 on the Resource 5 table). Again add up the total time spent on these and note some examples in your Student book (5).

Then repeat the process with a different color for the activities you consider to be:

  • urgent but not important (from quadrant 3 on the table), and
  • neither urgent nor important (from quadrant 4 on the table)
  • and again note your responses in your Student book (5).

Read some guidance about what might be in these four categories by clicking on Resource 6: Example activities and their quadrants.

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MODULE1K Activity 7: Making time

Now that you have a full breakdown of how you are actually using your time at work, you can see what you're not spending your time on!

Look again at your color-coded copies of your activity log. Is there anything that you would like to be doing but are not? What do you need to make time for?

One obvious way of making time for things you want to do (and remember, this needn't simply be work-focused), is to cut down on the obvious time-wasting activities – in other words, the ones from quadrant 4 in the Resource 5 table. Can you see any of those in your activity log? Are any easy to identify and drop from your day?

(Review Resource 6 for some suggestions.)

Then record your reflections in your Student book (6).

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MODULE1L The crux of the matter

The bottom line of any attempt to develop a greater sense of time awareness and to develop time management skills, is this one simple idea:

You control time, time doesn't control you!

Do you agree with this statement? Document your thoughts in Student book (7).

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MODULE1M What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 1

Look back at the intended learning outcomes for module one.
By the end of this module you should:

  • have an understanding of time awareness
  • know your time habits – how you presently organize and spend your time
  • know what you need to make time for at work

To what extent has this module helped you to achieve these goals? You can make record your thoughts in your Student book (8) - save your responses and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

MODULE1N Congratulations

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Module 2: Time management tools.

MODULE2A Intended learning outcomes for Module 2
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By the end of this module you will:

  • know a variety of time management tips and tools
  • be able to apply these tools to your working life
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MODULE2B Pacing yourself


By now you should have a good idea of how you spend your time and what you need your time for. You know what time means to you and what your relationship is with time. Now it's time to look at the rhythms you face in each day, week, term and year. This is essential knowledge if you're to pace yourself to ensure that whatever time you do spend on any activity is truly time well spent.

There is nothing magical about the concept of pacing. It really is as simple as it sounds. It's all about ensuring that at times when you know you will be at your busiest, you don't add to that pressure with tasks that need not necessarily be done then. All of us experience natural fluctuations in energy levels and to work against these can greatly impact on our ability to manage time effectively.

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MODULE2C Activity 8: Pacing yourself (1) Read Resource 7: Pacing yourself, and make a note of any points that you feel will be particularly helpful to you in your Student book (9).

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MODULE2D Activity 9: Pacing yourself (2)

At particularly busy times when we have more urgent demands on our time than usual, some other more routine tasks can naturally be overlooked.
Think of a busy period at work. This might be a long-term period, such as the week or two when reports need to be written at the end of a term, or shorter-term period, such as a particular morning taken up entirely with teaching.

With this example of a peak in demand period in your mind go to your Student book (10) and answer the questions there.

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MODULE2E Activity 10: Saying "no"

Many staff in school just don't know how to say "no". Schools embark on initiative after initiative without dropping anything to make room. And it's not just externally-imposed initiatives – it's sports competitions, drama productions, speech days...
Answer the questions in your Student book (11) to see how good you are at saying "no".

When you've done that, read Resource 8 for some tips on saying "no".

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MODULE2F Managing information

As a teacher, or any other member of a school's workforce, you are likely to receive a huge amount of information, in one form or another, on a daily basis. Whether by email, memo, post or simply a snatched conversation with a colleague in the corridor, all of this incoming information has to be handled effectively or it has the potential to overwhelm.
One way of managing your response to information you receive, and thereby saving you time in the future, is to quickly ask yourself some questions about that piece of information. Read Resource 9 to see a list of questions you should ask yourself when you receive a new email or memo.

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MODULE2G Speed reading
Speed reading can be very handy if used relatively sparingly. Some companies selling speed reading tools claim to be able to double your reading speed without losing any comprehension. It's worth treating some of these claims with skepticism, but there's undoubtedly time to be saved by being able to scan documents that do not require close reading.
Resource 10: Speed reading has some information about the foundations necessary to develop your reading speed. Read this before moving on to the next activity.

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MODULE2H Activity 11: Speed reading

The Mind Tools website has several useful articles on speed reading. The strategies they recommend can be summarized as follows:

  • knowing what you need to know, and reading appropriately
  • knowing how deeply to read the document – skimming, scanning or studying
  • using active reading techniques to pick out key points and keep your mind focused on the material
  • using the table of contents for reading magazines and newspapers, and clipping useful articles
  • understanding how to extract information from different article types
  • creating your own table of contents for reviewing material
  • using indexes, tables of contents and glossaries to help you assimilate technical information.

Print out Resource 11 now and read the article in full. It's quite long, so give yourself a few minutes. Then make a note in your Student book (12) about how you could apply the techniques to your reading both at work and at home. This second stage is important - it's only worth learning new tips and tools if we can apply them to our lives and make them work for us.

You can find the full article on the Mind Tools website here. (Note: You must click "next" at the bottom of the first page of the article to access the whole document.)

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MODULE2I Using time twice

Every day there are opportunities for us to achieve two things using one block of time. This simultaneous use of time has been referred to as "using time twice". For example, you might be assessing some homework while also using this task as an opportunity to gain evidence for the comments that you plan to make in imminent reports home. Other examples of this might include:

  • listening to a language-learning CD in the car while driving to work
  • catching up with departmental issues with a colleague while sorting through resources together
  • getting to know your students better while putting up a display together

Some people call this technique "multi-tasking". It should be used with a little caution, as studies have shown that certain types of multi-tasking can be counter-productive. That's not to say we should all only focus on one thing at a time. The trick is to work out how you personally might be able to save time by doubling up on tasks.

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MODULE2J Activity 12: Using time twice

In your Student book (13) make a list of the kinds of activity that would allow you to "use time twice".
Aim to incorporate them in your working day whenever you can. But remember to stop as soon as you detect that you may be getting a counter-productive result.

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MODULE2K The notion of personal leadership

In his book, First Things First, Stephen Covey explores the idea of personal leadership. This involves seeing each day, explains Covey, in terms of people and relationships instead of activities and appointments.
Resource 12: Personal leadership, explains this principle and you will find it useful to read and keep in mind ahead of the next Task.

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MODULE2L Task 2: The notion of personal leadership

Return to your Activity log and choose at least two activities from your working day, excluding teaching. Apply the following questions to each activity:

  • How did the activity come about?
  • Why am I doing it now?
  • What are the ultimate objectives of the activity?
  • Does this activity contribute to the core purpose of the organization?
  • Does the activity represent the highest and best use of my capabilities and the combined resources of those involved?
  • Record your answers for each activity in your Student book (14). The questions appear there again to prompt you.

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MODULE2M Choosing the right method of communication

You can save time easily by choosing the best method to communicate, depending on the content of the communication. Read Resource 13 which discusses this in more detail.

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MODULE2N Procrastination and perfectionism: time management enemies!

Perfectionism is ultimately draining and self-defeating. It can sap creativity and paralyze us into non-action. The truth about perfectionism is that unrealistically high goals are not desirable and are certainly not vital for success. Wanting to achieve perfection does not lead to personal satisfaction and a sense of well-being.
Procrastination, on the other hand, can be equally sapping of creativity! Procrastination is not simply a matter of putting something off until later.

The next two Activities will look at each of these time management enemies in turn.

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MODULE2O Activity 13: Procrastination

There are a number of symptoms of procrastination, including:

  • waiting until the last minute to start a task
  • avoiding risks
  • not wanting to try something new
  • avoiding having to make a decision
  • avoiding talking to or confronting someone
  • looking outside yourself for reasons why you have not achieved something

This Activity is to identify whether procrastination might be an issue for you. (It usually is for all of us at some stage of our lives, if not most of the time!)

In your Student book (15) you will find some statements to consider. Read them and comment as appropriate.

It's not the individual answers that we want you to pick up on here, but the trend. Maybe you're beginning to see that you're a procrastinator. If so, the tools and tips that you pick up on this course will be particularly valuable!

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MODULE2P Activity 14: Perfectionism

Read Resource 14 which has some ideas on perfectionism and the impact it can have on your life. How much of a perfectionist are you? There are some questions to consider in your Student book which should help you to focus on the extent to which perfectionism features in your life and habits. So go to your Student book (16) to check yourself against the questions there.

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MODULE2Q Taking rest

All the time management hints and tips you've seen so far are all well and good, but perhaps the most important notion is yet to be discussed: rest. As the Roman poet Ovid said:
"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."
For a few key words to remember on this subject, read Resource 15: Taking time.

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MODULE2R Task 3: Taking rest

This has the potential to be the most enjoyable task of the whole course!
Think about a period of time that you would be comfortable to ring-fence as rest time in your busy working day. You can use this rest time in any way you wish as long as it's restful! In other words, you don't have to lie on a sofa in the staff room and stare at the ceiling – do whatever activity you find restful, be it reading, exercise, listening to the radio, meditating, etc.
Incorporate this rest time in each working day for a week and monitor how you feel. For example, do you start to look forward to this time? Does it help your efficiency in managing your time either side of the rest break? After a week does it become something you feel you want to keep up?
A few points to help you:

  • your sacred rest time can be as long as you wish it to be
  • you can spend your rest time whenever you want to throughout each day
  • if you include other people in your rest time (e.g., for exercise), make sure that the
  • emphasis is still on recharging yourself rather than
  • giving time and energy to anyone else

    Record your reflections in your Student book (17)
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MODULE2S What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 2

Now that you've completed Module 2, have another look at the intended learning outcomes for this module.
By the end of this module you will:

• know a variety of time management tips and tools
• be able to apply these tools to your working life

To what extent have you achieved these outcomes? Record your thoughts in your Student book (18) - save your responses and e-mail them to us.

MODULE2T Congratulations
 

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Module 3 Practicing time management

MODULE3A Intended learning outcomes for Module 3

By the end of this module you should:

  • have some key time management techniques for particular scenarios
  • know the time management issues that you are currently facing
  • be able to devise immediate coping mechanisms for these issues
BACK TO INDEX


MODULE3B Identifying problems and potential solutions

During this module you will read four scenarios from time-pressured school staff. Identifying the problems that they face is pretty straightforward, but the aim of the Activities that follow is to work out what these people can do to ease the time pressures they face, thereby equipping you with strategies to deal with similar situations should you face them in your working life.
You will be asked to consider all the time management techniques that you have read about so far, plus any that you already use yourself. BACK TO INDEX


MODULE3C Activity 15: Information overload

Read the scenario in Resource 16.
What can Julia do to ease her situation? With a specific focus on managing information, think about actions she can take and tools she can employ to improve the way in which she manages the information that comes her way at work. Be as detailed as possible in your advice for Julia.

Is there anything that you can take from this exercise to apply to your own life?

Record your ideas and reflections in your Student book (19).

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MODULE3D Activity 16: Meeting madness

Read the scenario in Resource 17.
What can John do to ease his situation? With a specific focus on the issue of meetings, think about actions he can take and tools he can employ to improve the way in which he manages his time with regard to the obligations he has. Be as detailed as possible in your advice for John.

Is there anything that you can take from this exercise to apply to your own life?

Record your ideas and reflections in your Student book (20).

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MODULE3E Activity 17: Saying "no"

Read the scenario in Resource 18.
What can Maria do to ease her situation? With a specific focus on the issue of assertiveness, think about actions she can take and tools she can employ to improve the way in which she manages her time with regard to the obligations she has. Be as detailed as possible in your advice for Maria.

Is there anything that you can take from this exercise to apply to your own life?

Record your ideas and reflections in your Student book (21).

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MODULE3F Activity 18: Pacing demands

Read the scenario in Resource 19.
What can Chi do to ease his situation? With a specific focus on the issue of pacing, think about actions he can take and tools he can employ to improve the way in which he manages his time with regard to the obligations he has. Be as detailed as possible in your advice for him.

Is there anything that you can take from this exercise to apply to your own life?

Record your ideas and reflections in your Student book (22).

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MODULE3G Making lists

We're always juggling the tasks, events and responsibilities of our lives. Sometimes, though, we can forget exactly what it is that we are juggling, and what should be kept airborne inevitably drops to the ground.
The trick is to know at any point in time, precisely what it is that you're responsible for and working on and towards.

What we're talking about here is making lists. Simply writing things down on a piece of paper is as effective as any method, but you may store a "to do" list electronically or maintain a list of your current pressures on a white board daily planner.

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MODULE3H Task 4: Identifying current time management issues

The aim of this task is to encourage sound organizational skills when it comes to identifying the current pressures on your time. Or in other words, to encourage you to make lists!
In the way that suits you best (in your diary or planner, wall chart, PDA, or computer) create an on-going list of your current 'goals' – as minor or major as you like – as long as they're things that you are currently working towards.

You don't need to categorize the items on your list if you don't want to. Just note which items have a deadline and which don't. Some people like to create fully comprehensive lists, while others focus on recording only the tasks that they risk forgetting. Choose the listing method that works for you. But do make the list.

Record your reflections on this process in your Student book (23).

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MODULE3I Activity 19: Commitment to actual change

Throughout this course you've been gathering many skills to help you manage your time better. The assumption was that, by choosing to do this course, you felt a need to improve your time management skills and are now working towards achieving this.
In addition to learning new skills, there may well be current habits that you could usefully shed.

Take a moment now to think about a statement of change. These ideas may help:

  • What are you prepared to do, or change, in order to improve your time management skills?
  • Does anything else need to happen so that you can implement your change?
  • How committed do you feel to your statement of change?

Record your statement of change in your Student book (24).

Note: Keep this statement of change relatively short-term. In Module 4 you'll be asked to put forward a longer-term vision of your future time management.

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MODULE3J Activity 20: A summary of tips and principles

Resource 20 contains a summary of tips for managing time more efficiently. Not all will apply to you but many probably will. Read this resource and make a note of the most useful ideas that could be applied to your life in your Student book (25).
What is the single most important lesson for you in managing your time? This needn't come from the Resource; think about all that you have read and reflected on for inspiration. Now apply this lesson with the intent to free up time. Again, record your thoughts on this in your Student book (25).

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MODULE3K What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 3

When you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 3.
By the end of this module you should:
  • have some key time management techniques for particular scenarios
  • know the time management issues that you are currently facing
  • be able to devise immediate coping mechanisms for these issues

How much has this module helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note of your reflections in your Student book (26) - save your responses and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

BACK TO INDEX

MODULE3L Congratulations!

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Module 4: Developing time management habits for the future

MODULE4A Intended learning outcomes for Module 4

By the end of this module you will:

  • know the time management patterns that you would like to adopt for the future
  • be able to make real and useful change in your time management habits

BACK TO INDEX

MODULE4B How do you want to view time?

In Module 1 you spent some time reflecting on your current relationship with time. In this final module you will imagine how you want your relationship with time to look in the future.


Essentially, you will be imagining your ideal relationship with time. We will call this ideal vision of time management your time utopia.

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MODULE4C Activity 21: Your vision of a "time managed" future

After all your readings and reflections in this course so far, it's time to create in your mind a vision of how you would like your relationship with time to be in the future – your time utopia. The idea of this activity is for you to visualize the positive effects of an improvement in your time management.
Think about the following questions and start to make notes in your Student book (27).

  • What do you do less of in your time utopia?
  • What do you do more of?
  • How satisfied do you feel?
  • How different will your life be tomorrow, one month from now, one term from now and one year from now? How
  • about the changes it may bring over the next decade?
  • What resources do you have at your disposal right now to start implementing changes?

Next, write out your vision of your time utopia in whatever form will be most useful for you. Get creative! Some find that simply writing something like this out as a piece of prose is useful while others prefer bullet points. It doesn't matter how you present it as long as you draw on the many time management concepts you have covered so far, apply them to your life and really think about how, practically, things could be better, easier, more satisfying and more enjoyable for you. Aim to summarize your utopia too – just one key sentence that sums it up will do. Make your vision relevant.

Record your vision in your Student book (27).

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MODULE4D Personal goal setting

In order to achieve your time utopia, you need to set goals.
Devising goals is a central part of managing time. The two concepts are intertwined – you need to set and prioritize goals to manage your time, and you need effective time management to attain your goals. We touched on this in the section on making lists in the previous module.

Goal setting allows you to decide where you want to go and to think about how you're going to get there.

The important things to remember are as follows.

  • Goal setting involves identifying a large-scale goal, breaking that down into smaller bite-sized targets and systematically hitting them until you reach the goal.
  • Goals can relate to any dimension of your life and achieving them will undoubtedly have an impact across the broad spectrum of who you are and what you do.
  • Goals don't have to be about reaching some tangible target. They can also be about acquiring skills, changing your attitude and beliefs, or improving your fitness.
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MODULE4E Activity 22: Personal goal setting – stage 1

In a moment you'll be asked to set some goals for yourself. First, read Resource 21: Principle-based goals and Resource 22: Goal-setting tips.

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MODULE4F Activity 22: Personal goal setting – stage 2

Now it's time for you to set some appropriate goals for your working life. As you formulate your goals, apply the following questions to each, as recommended by Stephen Covey in First Things First.

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Why do want to achieve it?
  • How will you go about it?

Covey also suggests creating a "perhaps" list of goals that don't necessarily apply to your immediate situation, but that are certainly ideas you don't want to lose.

Record your goals in your Student book (28) in as much detail as is useful.

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MODULE4G Activity 23: Action planning

To bring your goals to fruition, you need an action plan. You have already considered what your goals are, why you've set them, and broadly how you will achieve them. Now you need to explore the finer details of what you need to accomplish in what timeline.
The following questions will help you formulate an action plan.

  • How will each micro-goal be reached?
  • Do your goals fit into any other goals within your school?
  • Do your goals involve other people? If so, do they know what their role is?
  • Does each goal contribute to an overall plan? They don't have to, but if they do, is there a natural progression from one to the next?
  • What is your timeline?
  • What measurable results are you looking for?
  • Ask yourself regularly, 'Am I being realistic?'


Using the goals that you have identified, create an action plan for immediate use. You can devise the points you must hit along the way or use the suggestions below. Just remember that the main goal of your action plan is to aid you in your quest for effective time management.

Read Resource 23 for some areas around which you can focus your plan.

Record your action plan, and the process you took to develop it, in your Student book (29).

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MODULE4H Zoning time The idea of zoning time is simple – it's to set aside a block of time that you devote to specific activities whether work-related or not. For example, if you find that work for school encroaches on your home life you could create a time zone on Sundays that can only be spent with your family, partner or friends.
The more organized you become with your time management, the more confident you will feel about creating time zones in your day/week/month/term/year.

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MODULE4I Activity 24: Zoning time

In this Activity, you will create time zones for yourself. In this case, you can consider your time both at work and at home. Remember, the aim is to create space and balance, not to add extra pressures.
First, read Resource 24, which has some tips about time zoning.

Then print off Resource 25, which is a grid onto which you can zone your time. Resource 26 is an example of a completed grid.

Take your time over this Activity as you may want to consider, over a few days, exactly what you want zoned time for.

Finally, record your thoughts on this Activity in your Student book (30).

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MODULE4J What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 4

Have another look at the intended learning outcomes for this module.
By the end of this module you will:

  • know the time management patterns that you would like to adopt for the future
  • be able to make real and useful change in your time management habits
  • To what extent have you achieved these outcomes? Record your reflections in your Student book (31) - save your responses and e-mail them to us.

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MODULE4K Congratulations

 

RESOURCES

Resource 1 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 2 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 3 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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Resource 4: Categories of activity

  • Eating
  • Communication with friends and family
  • Communication with colleagues
  • "Core" teaching (which means your regular timetabled commitment)
  • Other teaching (such as cover)
  • Registration
  • Other non academic sessions (such as tutor group period)
  • Taking assembly
  • Responding to requirements from external agencies (such as local education authorities)
  • Meetings (can divide into different kinds, or at very least divide into 'in-school' and 'external')
  • Preparing for meetings
  • Paperwork at a desk
  • Telephone (incoming and outgoing)
  • Interviews with pupils, individually or in groups
  • Interviews with parents
  • Developmental work with colleagues (such as monitoring, classroom observation, appraisal)
  • Reflection – thinking time
  • Extra-curricular activities (clubs, societies, music groups, sports teams)
  • Moving around the school
  • Marking students' work
  • Assessment tasks other than marking
  • Breaks – time entirely off-task
  • Traveling on school business

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Resource 5 Click Here To Download

Resource 6: Example activities and their quadrants
Here are some examples of activities in each quadrant. But remember, what you consider to be urgent or important very much depends on your own circumstances and values.
Important and urgent: Reading and analyzing your school's behavior policy, which is due to be reviewed and discussed at a staff meeting the next day.

Important but not urgent: Reviewing your continuing professional development portfolio and deciding what training you'd like to do next.

Urgent but not important: Clearing up a spillage you see in the corridor.

Not urgent and not important: Playing a game on your PC. Buying flowers to brighten up the break room.

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Resource 7: Pacing yourself
The extract below is from Teacher Well-being: Looking after yourself and your career in the classroom by Elizabeth Holmes.
Pacing yourself

You have to be aware of the law of diminishing returns when managing your time. There will be an optimum level at which you can work effectively. Go beyond that level and you risk wasting your time and wearing yourself out. If your working hours are so long that you have to force yourself out of bed in the morning, ask yourself what it is that you hope to teach your pupils. If you feel depressed about your work, it is likely that you're not working at an optimal level and it is essential that you pace yourself to avoid burning out.

Every school year has a rhythm, just like every term, every week and every day. When you are in tune with this, you are more able to go up a gear when necessary, and to reduce the pace when it fits. It's impossible to work at 100 per cent all the time, racing through each term as it hits you; no one can achieve that successfully.

Aiming to work fewer hours when you are pacing yourself sensibly is not necessarily about doing less work or getting less done. Rather, it's about being more productive, if possible, in the time that you do spend working.

The following ideas may help:

  • When you decide to spend time on schoolwork, focus, and minimize all other distractions.
  • Work out what it is that you like to do best and do that for the greater part of your time. You could even swap tasks with a colleague if it means you both spend time doing more of what you enjoy.
  • Delegate as much as possible, or team up with colleagues to achieve tasks. There's no point in reinventing the wheel, or for two people to slave away at what could be achieved far quicker through teamwork.
  • Time your tasks but be realistic with the deadlines that you impose on yourself. They should never become a source of stress.
  • Do not feel that you have to work at the pace of those around you. Even if you are working closely together in one year group, department or faculty, you still have to work at your pace if your sense of well-being is to remain intact.
  • Take a moment to consider if you have any time-wasting habits or inefficiencies. Try to develop a conscious awareness of how efficient you are when you are working.
  • Take regular breaks from intense work such as marking.
  • Practice "mindfulness". This means being aware of the present moment, of what you are doing and how you are doing it. This is quite the opposite of doing A while thinking of B and C. Practicing mindfulness tends to have the effect of apparently expanding time.
  • Be an author not an actor. This is your life, and its scenes should at least in part be directed by you. Don't play out someone else's lines at a pace that doesn't suit you. (p120).

Resource 8: How to say "no"

Here are some golden rules for saying "no":
To someone in a junior position:

  • Prepare. If you're not ready to answer, fix a definite appointment, but don't make it sound as though you're avoiding the issue. As Susan Tranter says: "The motto "If you want a decision today, it's no" may seem harsh, but it is better to say this than to agree to something you will later regret."
  • Don't be ambiguous. Fear of offending leads to half-hearted refusals that are misinterpreted as conditional agreement.
  • Give thought-out reasons linked to school values, aims and plans. (That's one reason for needing preparation time.)
  • Be professionally pleasant – make eye contact, smile.
  • Don't flinch if you meet anger or open disappointment. Be confident in your reasons and your wider responsibilities.

To someone in a senior position:

  • Be professionally assertive in all your responses.
  • If you need time to think or prepare, say that – and make it a statement not a question. "I'll take some time to think and see you again at lunchtime."
  • Don't be ambiguous. You may be in awe of the boss, but a good leader wants you to be straightforward.
  • Give thought-out reasons that refer to the shared aims and values of the school.
  • Don't fall back on personal reasons, e.g., "Since I've had my eye trouble…" If you're genuinely not fit to do your work, that's a different issue.
  • Having thought about your response, be confident in your reasons and your motives.
  • Try not to prolong the conversation, in case you weaken. "If that's all, I have to be in class in five minutes..."

Resource 9: Managing information
There are a few simple questions to be asked of every piece of information that you receive:

  • How relevant is this information to me?
  • Do I need to act on this information immediately, in the medium-term or the long-term?
  • Do I need to keep a record of this information [if given to you via conversation]?
  • Do I need to store this information for a specified period of time?
  • Do I need to be aware of confidentiality issues when storing this information?
  • Do I need to make a judgment on the accuracy of this information?
  • Can I discard this information?

Resource 10: Speed reading (1)

It is thought that there are some basic foundations from which speed reading can be developed:

  • good eye health, with any defects in vision corrected
  • a wide eye span on the page so that you take in as many words as possible in each glance
  • the ability to read without needing to say or "hear" each word
  • the ability to read without needing to re-read (which we sometimes do –apparently around 20 times per page of text!)
  • If you can know what information you want from a document before you start to read it you will be able to employ speed-reading techniques more effectively.

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Resource 11 Click to Download

Resource 12: Personal leadership
The extract below is from First Things First by Stephen Covey
From time management to personal leadership

Rather than activities and appointments, you see your day in terms of people and relationships. You see processes in progress as new possibilities for contribution to the mission of the organization. It's not only a matter of when to do things, but whether or not to do them at all. It's asking questions of why and how as well as when. It's consulting your compass as well as your clock.

In making your decisions, you'd want to pause and connect with conscience. You'd want to:

  • Ask with intent
  • Listen without excuse, and
  • Act with courage

As you decide what's most important for you to do, you'd want to think about the conditions of empowerment and consider where you could focus your effort with the greatest positive long-term result.

You might want to begin by questioning the very nature of each activity:

  • How did this activity come about?
  • Why am I doing it now?
  • What are the underlying reasons for the activity?
  • What are the ultimate objectives?
  • Does this activity contribute to the purpose of the organization?
  • Is this the highest and best use of my capabilities and our combined resources?

    The answers to questions such as these would determine the action you decide to take. In almost all cases, you would want to improve the underlying system. You would see tasks, not as things to do, but as indicators of a larger process that you want to improve. (p270)

Resource 13: Choosing the right method of communication
The way in which you communicate can have big implications for the way in which you use and save time. Think for a moment about the different forms of communication we use in our daily lives:

  • telephone
  • text
  • email
  • fax
  • face to face conversation
  • letter
  • memo


Do we always use the most appropriate form of communication every time? For example, confirming the time of a meeting can easily be done by text or email if you can't actually speak face to face to the relevant person. However, if you have several issues to discuss, it would probably take a disproportionate amount of time to type and send emails to and fro to reach a decision on something. Each and every form of communication has its place; knowing when to use each form is the key.

For example, you need to communicate something to a parent so ask them to call into school. The conversation drifts and lasts an hour after which you have to make a written record of what was said. Alternatively, you could have written what needed to be communicated in a letter, offered the option of a school visit, and kept a copy for your records.

How about this scenario? You have a list of tasks that you need to delegate to staff so you grab each one as you see them through the day and chat about what needs doing and when. By the end of the conversation some staff need to recap on what you've asked them to do and make a note for themselves. Over time, some of the tasks get done but not all. Writing out a memo, combined with a quick chat to explain things (and soften the request!) would ultimately be a far quicker way of dealing with the situation than repeatedly going over the same ground with different people!

Or perhaps you want to discuss a draft policy with a colleague. You have several queries and suggestions to make. It would take far longer to write these out in a memo or email than it would to sit down together and show what you mean.

Sometimes it's quicker to write, sometimes talk, and other times a quick text will do. Using all the methods of communication available to you appropriately you can dramatically improve your use of time.

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Resource 14 Click to Download

Resource 15: Taking time
The extract below is from Teacher Well-being: Looking after yourself and your career in the classroom by Elizabeth Holmes
Take time to:

  • breathe
  • celebrate success
  • collaborate
  • communicate
  • declutter
  • drink water
  • eat
  • exercise
  • exhale
  • inhale
  • plan
  • praise
  • prioritize
  • recover
  • relax
  • set goals
  • show appreciation
  • visualize
  • write lists

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Resource 16: Information overload
Julia teaches in a busy secondary school in the Mathematics department. She doesn't have an office of her own but does have a desk in the department staff room. Her pigeon hole is usually stuffed full with post but it's in the main staff room and as she teaches at the other end of the school she doesn't always have time to get down there during breaks.
On occasion Julia has been known to miss internal deadlines because she is not on top of the flow of information coming at her. Her papers are not organized and she can be fearful of throwing documents away in case she subsequently needs them.

Essentially, Julia feels that she is receiving too much new information too quickly, and that she cannot absorb and assimilate it efficiently enough. She has too many competing priorities.

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Resource 17: Meeting madness
John is a head of English in a large secondary school. He holds an informal weekly meeting with his department, which often has no fixed agenda or end time as the department staff get on well together and use the opportunity to catch up. He also has to attend head of department meetings and full staff meetings. As his department is part of the Arts Faculty he finds he has to attend faculty meetings, and is also on the board of governors.
John's also trying to build links with other schools for drama projects and is a community committee member for the local hospital trust. Every evening he attends at least one meeting. If ever he has a free night, he arranges to go through the concerns of new members of staff in his department. However, the number of meetings that John attends is seriously encroaching on his private life as school work inevitably is shunted into what could be time off. He doesn't necessarily want to reduce his commitments but does need to free up some time.

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Resource 18: Saying "no"
Maria is a teaching assistant in a small elementary school. Because there are only ten teachers in the school, Maria often finds that she is roped in to doing all sorts of things above and beyond the call of duty. As well as supervising the children through her lunch break, she runs an after-school reading group and a running club for the children. Three mornings a week she helps out at the breakfast club.
Although useful experience, Maria does not always enjoy the additional activities she finds herself doing. The time they take up causes negative stress because of the level of intrusion into her working and private life. She feels duty-bound to do what she is asked to do but often feels resentful and put upon.

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Resource 19: Pacing demands
The run up to Christmas is always a busy time for Chi. He directs the school Christmas play and also sings in the school choir's carol concerts which requires many rehearsals. The school holds mock exams just before Christmas so the end of the Autumn term always brings plenty of marking for Chi, not to mention the parents' evenings that litter the second half of the term. His head of department always requests interim reports on the students that Chi teaches at this time and he has also agreed to help out at the PTA Christmas event.
For Chi, it seems that everything happens in the Autumn term. It's not that he doesn't enjoy what he's doing, but he is constantly under pressure to keep it all in the air and prevent it from crashing down around him. The demands on his time are not evenly paced through the year and he feels that the inevitable decline in his energy that this causes at the start of the Spring term is affecting his work as a teacher.

Resource 20: Time management tips – a summary
The following is an extract from Teacher Well-being: Looking after yourself and your career in the classroom by Elizabeth Holmes. 

Time management is a learned skill, although some people take to it far more easily than others. That said, there are some time management fundamentals that you can put to immediate use in attempting to tame your workload and get through your tasks:

  • Be realistic. You can't do everything, so don't even try.
  • Establish what your long-, medium- and short-term goals are. Be sure to devote time to these so that you can be successful in achieving them.
  • Write your plans down. Make lists of jobs and, again, divide them into long-, medium- and short-term tasks.
  • Guard against procrastination. If you sense you are avoiding a task, choose a different one that is smaller and readily achievable; but, as soon as that task is done, do at least something to make a start on the job you have been putting off.
  • The minute you start it, it will diminish in stature.
  • Skim read documents that do not require detailed analysis.
  • Keep your workspace clean and clear.
  • Get into good habits of processing paper efficiently, and of filtering the information that comes your way. Either file it for future reference, put it in your 'recycle bin' from where you can retrieve it if necessary (although be sure to empty this bin regularly), or throw it away.
  • When you are given a task to do that will severely eat into your time, compromising your ability to complete other existing tasks, talk to your line manager. It may not be necessary to refuse to do the task, but you will need to negotiate either time or resources to assist you. Again, be realistic in what you set out to achieve. Realism is not a sign of failure.
  • Delegate tasks if you are able to. There are no prizes for doing everything yourself when you simply don't need to. Besides, control freaks are not good team players.
  • Minimize the risk of interruptions by not attempting to work somewhere public like the staffroom. Just a few breaks to chat, and your concentration is split and attention divided.
  • When something seems unachievable, divide it into small chunks of manageable goals. Tackle just one thing at a time. Remember, divided attention leads to tension.
  • Reduce or cut out unnecessary tasks.
  • What are your most productive times in the day? Plan to get the bulk of your tasks done in those hours. Many teachers report experiencing a slump in energy once the pupils have left in the afternoon. If you experience a distinct lack of get up and go at around 4 o'clock, eat some dried fruit for quick energy release and have a drink of water along with whatever else you would normally drink at this time. 
  • Be sure to build some slack time into your long-term planning. It's perfectly natural to need time to catch up, but don't see your holidays as your time to do this.
  • Make use of printed or computerized planners/diaries/schedulers.
  • Spend time at the start of the school year creating time-saving systems such as templates for any letters you will need to be sending out, filing systems, record-keeping systems, and so on.
  • Collaborate with others whenever you can. If you can minimize all your respective workloads by working together as much as possible, all involved will benefit. 
  • Be sensitive to overloading yourself. There's no heroism in this kind of martyrdom.
  • Stick to schedules or negotiate extensions.
  • Limit your availability by turning off your mobile phone and not downloading emails when you have a specific task to complete. The fewer distractions you have, the quicker the task is done and you can have some quality time off.
  • Analyze your use of time. Do you typically leak time during your working day?
  • Pay attention to the sense of balance in your life. It's no good being perfect at time management at work while struggling with it at home.
  • Drop any pretences to perfection. There really isn't any such thing.
  • Above all else, hone your skills of assertion and say 'no' whenever you know that your well-being will be adversely or irreparably affected. There should at least be the opportunity to discuss your concerns.  (p116-118)

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Resource 21: Principle-based goals
The following extracts are from First Things First by Stephen Covey.
Without principles, goals will never have the power to produce quality-of-life results. You can want to do the right thing, and you can even want to do it for the right reasons. But if you don't apply the right principles, you can still hit a wall. A principle-based goal is all three: the right thing, for the right reason, in the right way.  
Principle-based goal setting involves the full, synergistic use of all four human endowments:

  • Through conscience, we connect with the passion of vision and mission and the power of principles.
  • Through creative imagination, we envision possibility and synergistic, creative ways to achieve it.
  • Through self-awareness, we set goals with realistic stretch and stay open to conscience-driven change.
  • Through independent will, we make purposeful choice and carry it out; we have the integrity to walk our talk.

The principle-based goal-setting process is most effective when it includes:

  1. Setting "context" goals
  2. Keeping a "perhaps" list
  3. Setting weekly goals. 

(p.146)
 
Confidence and courage
To set and work toward any goal is an act of courage. When we exercise the courage to set and act on goals that are connected to principles and conscience, we tend to achieve positive results. Over time, we create an upward spiral of confidence and courage. Our commitment becomes stronger than our moods. Eventually, our integrity is not even an issue. We build the courage to set increasingly challenging, even heroic goals. This is the process of growth, of becoming all we can become.

On the other hand, when we exercise courage in setting goals that are not deeply connected to principles and conscience, we often get undesirable results that lead to discouragement and cynicism. The cycle is reversed. Eventually, we find ourselves without the courage to set even smaller goals.

The power of principle-based goal setting is the power of principles – the confidence that the goals we set will create quality-of-life results, that our ladders are leaning against the right walls. It's the power of integrity – the ability to set and achieve meaningful goals regularly, the ability to change with confidence when the "best" becomes the "good". It's the power of the four human endowments working together to create the passion, vision, awareness, creativity, and character strength that nurture growth.

To access this power is to create the upward spiral that empowers us to continually put first things first in our lives.  (p.152)

Resource 22: Goal-setting tips

These tips may help you to devise some personal goals:

Always commit your goals to paper (or some other form of record, eg, electronic) so that you can refer back to them and refine them when necessary.
Draft each goal in a positive way. For example, if your goal is to stay on top of marking and assessment this term, don't write 'I will not get behind with marking and assessment'. Rather, be positive: 'My goal is to remain up-to-date with marking and assessment.'
Be as accurate as you can be in framing your goal within a realistic timescale.
Break goals down so that each constituent part is small – as small as possible.
Be realistic about what you can control and what you cannot control. For example, you may have a goal to improve the resources in your department within a certain time, but this will also be dependent, at least in part, upon the money available to you.
Always celebrate a goal achieved! Notice what that does to your self-confidence.
Give yourself some feedback – reflect on the process of achieving goals as and when you achieve them.

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Resource 23: Action planning
You may find it useful if your action plan contains the following:

  • Goal – this should be the overall goal you want to achieve, for example improving the delivery of Year 7 history
  • Objective – for example, rewriting a scheme of work within the Year 7 history program of study
  • Strategy for achievement – for example, will you need to set aside weekly time for the rewriting in the near future?
  • People involved/responsibilities – for example, will the whole department be involved, or just key personnel? Will the head of department lead the plan.
  • Timeline – over what timescale will this goal be achieved? Will you have micro-goals to reach, for example, to have an outline of the scheme ready by half-term.

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Resource 24: Time zoning tips

  • For time zoning to work, you need to be strict with yourself. Once you've created a zone, be sure to stick with it at least once. If a zone doesn't have the desired effect, change it.
  • Approach time zoning from a feeling of time abundance rather than of time poverty – in other words, assume an attitude that there's plenty of time for all you want to do.
  • Once you are used to the idea of time zoning you can afford to be flexible about when each time zone can be 'spent'. For example, you may block out two evenings a week for assessing homework, but if you have a particularly heavy week of assessment, you can juggle zones without missing out, always remembering to pay yourself back any borrowed time.

Resource 25 CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Resource 26 CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Author: Covey, S
Title: First Things First (2001)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684858401

Author: Davidson, J
Title: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Managing Your Time (2003)
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0028642635

Author: Holmes, E
Title: Teacher Well-being: Looking after yourself and your career in the classroom (2004)
Publisher: RoutledgeFalmer
ISBN: 0415334985

Author: Rechtschaffen, S
Title: Time Shifting (1994)
Publisher: Rider Books
ISBN: 0712671269

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REFERENCE LINKS

These are linked in your outline to take you to further reading and any data forms you might need to help you answer questions

Name:
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Description:
Contains a thought-provoking called 'How is time related to mind?'
URL: http://www.iep.utm.edu/t/time.htm#MIND

Name:
The Mind Tools website
Description:
A useful website which contains amongst other things an article on speed reading techniques.
URL: http://www.mindtools.com/speedrd

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1 comment


  • Jill Baith

    I have completed the work for this course. What is the best way for me to get you the work?
    Thanks,
    Jill


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