Make the most of your time

18th September 1998 at 01:00
Work out your priorities. There is no point finishing a task if you are neglecting a more urgent one. You may list these mentally, but recording them in some form will allow easy reference.

* Map out the week. Work out how much time you spend on the things you have to do each week, such as teaching time, meetings and playground duty, as well as those outside work. This will allow you to determine how much time you have to yourself and make better use of it. If Tuesday nights are always free, you might like to set it aside for marking, so that you can get a complete break from work during the weekend.

* Think smarter and save yourself time. When it comes to writing reports, for example, the task should be much quicker and easier if you have taken a few notes about each student during the term.

* Avoid procrastination. Some tasks are always less palatable than others, but they have to be done sooner or later. If you dread doing something, try and break it up into smaller parts that can be completed separately rather than try to do it all at once. Working to a deadline can be good motivation, but make sure you have enough time to do the task properly.

* Think about using information technology. Computers are no magic solution, but they could help you to do some things faster and better, such as writing lesson plans or preparing overhead transparencies.

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