Contract and Employment Questions

Time Management

Hi Friends,

As I finish my first week I am curious to see how each of you manage your time throughout the week.  Do you just randomly login and do random tasks each day or do you have different projects that you have assigned to each different day, such as Monday: Grading, Tuesday: Discussion Board, and so on.  What have you found that works best for you.  I look forward to reading your ideas and feedback!

Thanks

Greg

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Replies

  • Greg, I learned this schedule from someone who is a pro at time management and has been teaching online for BYUI for a while. I too am in my first couple weeks, and so far this has worked well!

    Monday-Check emails and questions discussion board (this should have fewer questions if you are teaching a second semester course)
    Grade assignments
    Peruse the discussion board and make a few comments as inspired.

    Tuesday-Check emails and questions discussion board (this should have fewer questions if you are teaching a second semester course)
    Grade assignments
    Finish up grading
    Peruse discussion board and make inspired comments.

    Wednesday- Check emails and questions discussion board (this should have fewer questions if you are teaching a second semester course)
    Grade assignments
    Grade journal assignments and other assignments already submitted by early students.
    Check discussion board again.

    Thrusday-repeat Wed.

    Friday-Check emails and questions discussion board (this should have fewer questions if you are teaching a second semester course)
    Grade assignments
    Send weekly email, announcements, create discussion board groups, post any discussion thread beginnings if you so desire.
    Check discussion board again briefly.

    Saturday-do weekly evaluation.

    I know there may be other things depending on number of courses you are carrying and etc., but this seems to be a great beginning outline for me...I too am trying to get into the rhythm.
    Thanks for the question!
  • I love your forum, Greg. We're all feeling the time crunch at this time of year. I've used time blocking, like Torri discusses, but sometimes it's just easier for me to block out my time quickly the night before, highlighting the 2 or 3 most important items that must happen that day. Here are a few of my other favorite tools:

    • A very simple to-do list: http://tomorrow.do/
    • Track where you are currently spending your time with Rescue Time: https://www.rescuetime.com/
    • Focus on a specific task for a set amount of time (perfect for limiting your email time: https://www.focusboosterapp.com/
  • Hello Greg! This is a fabulous question. I use time blocking as my time management strategy; it is very similar to what others have described here where you establish what tasks will be completed on specific days and times. I find this helps me a lot. For example, I could spend all day in my discussion boards asking questions and replying to student posts, but taking over the discussion like that isn't ideal for anyone, so I block in time each day W-F to spend in my discussions. I could also go overboard on my grading feedback, but I try to stick with methods that can be completed in the time I've blocked off each M-W.

    If you are interested in hearing more, check out my blog post from Spring semester on Time Blocking: https://onlineinstruction.ning.com/profiles/blogs/time-management-st.... Keep in mind though, I have since re-defined my schedule based on my credits for this semester. Last semester I was teaching two sections of the same class. This semester I am teaching two different courses, so a schedule like this is adjusted every semester and it may very well be adjusted week by week as you find what does and what does not work for you. I hope this helps!
    • Thanks for re-posting, I was actually just looking for your previous post! Perfect timing, Torri!
  • Hey Greg,
    This is my first semester teaching so I definitely am not the most experienced person to be giving feedback, but I do really well with due dates and deadlines so I set some for myself at the beginning of the semester. This week I'm still adapting and adopting new things into my schedule, but this is what I have so far. Every Friday I send out the email, write an announcement, and add the notes from the instructor for the following week. All three of these (email, notes, and announcement) are the same. I just do it in three places to make sure that they see it. I like to do it on Friday just in case the students want to work on stuff over the weekend. Then, I have a goal of having all of the grading of the previous week done by Wednesday each week so that the students can have their scores up to date. I just do half of my grading on Monday after my kids have gone to bed, and the rest on Tuesday if I didn't finish it all. For the discussion board I just check it every evening (Mon-Fri) to see how things are going and add anything if necessary. And then as far as emails I check my email everyday first thing in the morning, about 11:00 when my kids nap, and again in the evening after my kids go to bed. I like to do it that often because I know for students it can be stressful waiting for a reply for you instructor. It sounds like it's a lot, but the more organized and scheduled I am it seems to take me much less time.
    Hopefully this helps!
    Sam
    • Great schedule Sam! I like it!
  • I have specific tasks for specific days, and specific times to be online so my students know how to find me, and what to expect when.
  • It is always fun figuring out a rhythm for a new semester. So far I have assigned certain tasks to certain days and a certain time of day. Since the structure of our course has changed a bit I may change things as I get a rhythm. I agree with Miriam, it is too stressful constantly checking in on things. I find that I have more clarity by structuring it this way as well.
  • I'm trying something new this semester where I made a schedule with the specific hours that I am working. I am hoping that it'll make it feel less stressful to know that I don't need to be constantly checking emails/discussion boards, but can just wait until my scheduled "work time". So far it seems to be working well.
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