Making the Best Use of Your Free Time

Author: Rich Atkinson


Ramp Up Your Time Management Skills

Labor Day in the U.S. marks the first Monday in September with a tribute to hard-working individuals by giving them some much-needed rest and relaxation.

For some teachers, they have already started their school year. For others, the school bell begins later. Educators, whether you are a rookie or a seasoned veteran, ramping up your time management skills allows you to catch your breath and make the best use of your time during free periods.

Use Time Wisely

Teaching is one of the most demanding professions, but it’s only a small part of what you do. Let’s look at some ideas for any free time you might have, focused on two categories: your self-care and your schoolwork.

Self-Care During Free Periods

  • Embrace a few moments of quiet! Take in a few deep breaths, and then exhale your stress!

  • Enjoy a cup of java or a spot of tea. Fuel up with a PowerBar or by eating lunch! Brain food will sharpen your focus, and so will staying hydrated.

  • Say “No” to smartphone distractions. Getting hooked on social media will quickly incinerate your free time.

  • Incorporate technology to boost efficiency. Enable the talk-to-text feature on your device to schedule reminders or send a text or email.

Focus on Efficiency

  • Grade papers or prepare lesson plans while your class is with another teacher.

  • Meet with parents in person or on a conference call who are available during the day.

  • Take advantage of your commute by listening to an audiobook on a topic you are researching to add meat to your lesson.

Maintain balance in your life by separating your work/school life from your home life. For those who are single, you can unplug from school by not taking work home, even if that means spending extra time at school finishing up a project before going home. For those who are married, you could bring your work home with you and have dinner with your family before completing any schoolwork.

Rather than being rigid, switch up what you do with your free time. Sometimes you will need to relax and recharge, and other times, you will need to find the energy to push through. Only you know what you need. For more information on Self-Care for teachers, read Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First.

About the Author

Rich Atkinson

Rich Atkinson began his writing career with a community paper in Ohio.

He has worked for a magazine. Travel assignments have taken him outside the country to Haiti and Guatemala. In the U.S., he has journeyed to Atlanta, Boston, Milwaukee, and many other places for feature stories.

When not writing, Rich finds time to read and enjoys listening to authors discuss writing on podcasts and in YouTube videos.

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