Time Management and Scheduling

Lesson Content

Inquire: Time Management Techniques

Overview

When it comes to online learning environments, less structure and greater flexibility means increased student responsibility for learning outcomes. Time management is particularly important for online learning success. Developing a daily routine allows a student to manage their time efficiently. This lesson will examine time management tools such as calendars, checklists, planners, and apps. The objective of this lesson is to examine time management within an online learning environment and provide methods and examples of student application.

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Big Question

What are time management techniques and the tools that support them?

Read: Time Management and Scheduling

Overview

When it comes to online learning environments, less structure and greater flexibility means increased student responsibility for learning outcomes. Time management is particularly important for online learning success. Developing a daily routine allows a student to manage their time efficiently. This lesson will examine time management tools such as calendars, checklists, planners, and apps. The objective of this lesson is to examine time management within an online learning environment and provide methods and examples of student application.

Make the Most of Your Time

DecorativeTime is a person’s most valuable possession. Using time wisely gives students the ability to get more done. This requires being time-conscious and time-effective. Many students spend an inordinate amount of time watching TV, playing video games, or online shopping without fully considering the opportunity costs. Studying takes time. Without a plan for this time, a student may get behind on assignments and feel like they will never get caught up. To combat this problem, they can take control by learning to maximize their time, which ultimately comes down to prioritizing what needs to be done.

Develop and Stick to a Routine

Developing a routine creates good study habits. A routine supports students’ retention of material, management of time, and even improves concentration and focus. Students must create a routine and focus on it, keeping it as their foremost goal for one month, focusing on nothing else. Creating a schedule for daily tasks and activities facilitates good habits and breaks bad ones for a more productive life.

To create a new routine, the first thing to do is make a list of everything that needs to be accomplished daily. Prioritize what needs to be in the routine. Structure the day around the list. Schedule time for flexibility for when life unexpectedly happens. Then, try the routine out and make adjustments where things do not work. A routine may look something like this:

7:00 a.m.: Wake up, shower, and get ready for the day.
7:45 a.m.: Eat a healthy breakfast.
8:00 a.m.: Leave the house for school.
3:30 p.m.: Leave school for home.
4:00 p.m.: Log in to the online course and complete an assignment.

When creating a schedule, leverage time management tools. These tools can influence how a student manages time.

Calendar

A calendar is a useful tool for organizing and making the most of a student’s time. Calendars allow students to write down concrete plans in time slots. Just as a student can control their time, they can also control the calendar. A student can use a calendar to block off time to give assignments undivided time and attention.

Calendars play an important role in productivity. First, using a calendar assists with creating a routine and helps to get items checked off a to-do list. In fact, some people use calendars to schedule their lists into their day. Calendars also help prioritize what work should be done first and keep students on task. Calendars can usually be found on all smartphones and media devices.

Checklist

A checklist is a list of things to be done. It can be used as a type of reminder to reduce human error when completing a project. There are many benefits to creating checklists. Rather than trying to remember what needs to be done, it is already written down. Checklists also allow students to see the bigger picture and reach goals by breaking them down into smaller segments, making the goal easier to attain. Checklists are simple and easy to create. There are numerous checklist apps that can be downloaded to smart devices. Checklist.com is an example of such an app.

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Planner

Using a planner to schedule events, appointments, assignments, and tasks facilitates time management. A planner is a book or binder which usually contains a diary, calendar, address book, and varying other sections. A planner assists with organization, guides time management and improves productivity. Planners can be purchased at any office supply store.

Other Apps

Technology has brought the human race countless benefits. It has allowed individuals to connect, perform, improve, and leverage resources beyond what was once imaginable. Check out the list of apps below that improve productivity:

  • Rescue Time — Use time wisely.
  • Remember The Milk — Keep on top of tasks.
  • Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks.
  • Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks.
  • Dropbox — Store and send large files easily.
  • Evernote — Keep all notes in one place.
  • Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping.
  • SyncBackFree — Backup and sync files effortlessly.
  • MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage to-do lists.
  • 1Password — Remember all passwords.
  • Pocket — Stay focused.
  • Focus@Will — Boost attention span.
  • Launchy — Interact with computers.
  • Forest — Boost focus by growing a forest.
  • Trello — Track projects in a highly visual way.
  • Wunderlist — Digitize to-do lists.
  • TimeTree — Share a calendar with family.
  • Todoist — Capture and order tasks and activities.

Reflect: Time Management Tools

Poll

Which time management tool are you most likely to use?

Expand: Pomodoro Technique

Discover

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It encourages people to work with the time they have, rather than against it. The technique uses a timer to break work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks, usually about five minutes. Each interval is known as a Pomodoro and is the time one spends working. After four intervals, take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes.

DecorativeThe timer instills a sense of urgency. At the beginning of the day, people sometimes think there is endless time to get things done, and they ultimately squander those precious hours on distractions. With the Pomodoro Technique, a person knows they only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible. Additionally, the forced breaks help to cure that frazzled, burnt-out feeling that is sometimes experienced toward the end of the day. It is possible to spend hours in front of a computer without even realizing it. This technique reminds people to get up and take a breather.

The Pomodoro Technique’s six steps are:

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set the Pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
  3. Work on the task.
  4. End work when the timer rings, and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
  6. After four intervals, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.

After a task is completed, any time remaining in the Pomodoro is devoted to overlearning. This system of time management eliminates multi-tasking habits, focuses on the task at hand, accomplishes more due to the sense of urgency, and builds higher levels of willpower and concentration, ultimately decreasing stress. The Pomodoro Technique has been extensively promoted by apps and websites providing timers and instructions. Pomodoro apps are PomoDone, Focus Booster, Marinara Timer, ClearFocus, and Clockwork Tomato.

Check Your Knowledge

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Lesson Resources

Lesson Toolbox

Additional Resources and Readings

Pomodoro Technique

A video explaining how to use the Pomodoro Technique

Timeboxing: Elon Musk’s Time Management Method

A video describing the method of timeboxing

23 Time Management Techniques of Insanely Busy People

An article detailing 23 time management techniques

Lesson Glossary

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License and Citations

Content License

Lesson Content:

Authored and curated by Teresa Hightower for The TEL Library. CC BY NC SA 4.0

Media Sources

 LinkAuthorPublisherLicense
DecorativePen on to Do List PaperBreakingpicPexelsCC 0
DecorativeEgg timer in tomato shapeMarco VerchFlickrCC BY 2.0
DecorativeChecklist GoalsStockSnapPixabayCC 0
DecorativeSony PlaystationStockSnapPixabayCC 0