We all have to keep our schedules in check if we want to be productive, but as a teacher, your schedule is even more important. You need to be able to have the time you need to prepare yourself and your classes for every new technique and piece of choreography while still having time to interact with students and have fun. That’s where carefully managing your time comes in.
Keep a Schedule
The most obvious first step, keeping a schedule might seem simple, but it is the thing that often gets left behind. You might write down that you need to get ready for a particular task at a certain time but not get to it until an hour later.
Don’t let your schedule operate on a whim. Write it down, and stick to it. Life will throw you curve balls (Don’t worry. We’ll get to that.), but sticking as close to your schedule as possible will mean you have time to deal with them.
One Thing at a Time
You know those busy days where everything needs to be done like yesterday? Time management usually goes out the window then. But, here’s a tip: multi-tasking often slows you down, especially for larger tasks. If you have a lot to do, make a list. Prioritize your tasks by difficulty and how much time they will take up and then get to work doing things one at a time. You’ll get more done, and you’ll probably get it all done faster.
Don’t be a Contortionist
It is important to be flexible with your time in case something comes up (here come those curveballs). That doesn’t mean you can become someone that says “yes” to every one that is thrown at you. Leave space in your schedule for unexpected hiccups, but don’t bend your schedule unless you absolutely have to. If you are constantly moving around what you need to do, you’ll never get the important things done.
Leave space in your schedule for meetings, quick chats with parents at the studio, and handling other crises. You’ll find that having firm times for these things will make people less likely to beg for your time and more likely to respect how busy you are.
Track Your Time
How do you do all of this though? How do you make a schedule? It doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t stress. Your best and most effective schedule will take time to create. Create something that seems workable and then as you begin to implement that schedule note where you didn’t have enough time or where you were done with a task way ahead of schedule. Then adjust. Your overall schedule might change week to week. (Maybe even day to day!) But your basic schedule will likely stay the same once you have a clear idea of how things move.