Developing good time management skills takes both time and consistency. Once you have learned these skills, however, you may find that you have formed an incredibly valuable habit.
Below are some common questions and answers regarding managing your own personal time, as well as helping other staff members manage their time.
Question: How do you incorporate time management skills when other coworkers are not interested in working together?
Answer: Often the issue comes down to communication and not only in what is being communicated but how it is being communicated. Try to level with the other teachers and get to the root of the issue. Sometimes people are just unsure of what needs to be done and this creates a major road block. In addition to this, I recommend always going above and beyond with the level of respect that you show them. Even if you are not intentionally being disrespectful when communicating sometimes things can be perceived incorrectly. Do everything you can to avoid that common pitfall!
Question: When should I begin to implement time management skills?
Answer: There is no bad time to get going with strengthening your time management skills. It is important to ease into new methods and strategies to avoid overwhelming yourself. Think of it like creating a good habit.
Question: How do I encourage staff to improve their time management skills, without micromanaging them?
Answer: This is a common question that directors have and it can be quite challenging. Time management is a major source of stress for child care professionals in general and it can take time for them to really manage their time effectively. Instead of giving specific deadlines, I highly recommend breaking tasks down into smaller chunks and using a checklist system. Often having a visual reminder is enough to get things done in a timely manner, but even if this is not the case you can expect that simpler or smaller tasks can be done quickly. This eliminates the need for you to give out specific deadlines. Making these chunks sequential can hinge on micromanaging so be careful not to go overboard.
Another suggestion is to create a buddy system for tasks where two teachers are involved and can hopefully motivate the other to complete whatever is needing completion. This does require a greater deal of planning and preparation on your part and may not always be realistic.
Last, but not least, use positive reinforcement. Even though these are adults that you are working with they still like to be praised and rewarded for a job well done. Mention someone’s effort at the next staff meeting or send out an email praising a teacher’s hard work at completing a task. This will often motivate everyone to be more efficient and on task.
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