Resource 12: 12 Tips for Time Management


12 Tips for Time Management

One of the biggest coaching challenges is being able to manage your time effectively so that you get to help as many people as possible and cover your desired content. It is important to get to know yourself as a coach and set goals that you know you can reasonably achieve. Fortunately, the more focused and organized you can be with your time, the more students will be able to feel like they can actually improve. More time and more content coverage does not necessarily mean more learning; instead, be efficient and selective about how you spend time.

Time Management Technique Benefit
Leave enough room in the overall agenda and avoid overpacking with too many activities. Less is more when building new skills. Make sure people have enough time to feel prepared, practice, and digest new information.
Define one primary goal or area of improvement and stick to it. If appropriate, have students come prepared with identified goals. Focusing on one goal deepens the feedback you are able to give. You are also more likely to cover it, with higher quality work and actual results.
Cover public speaking skills through whole group warm-ups and drills By covering key skills for the day as a whole group, you can avoid repeating yourself to individuals and small groups.
Focus your attention on the early stages of the process and the ending refinement. Make sure that students are off to a good start and then let them go to practice independently until they are ready to work with you again to refine and polish.
When practicing with multiple people, create a timing sheet ahead of time, accounting for who you think needs more or less help. Build your awareness of how many people you can realistically help in a given amount of time. Organize extra outside sessions, if needed.
Mix up the size of groups for practice sessions, including practicing in pairs or small groups. Running simultaneous pair or small group practice saves time and allows students to get in more practice.
Teach and incorporate peer coaching strategies. When peer coaching is done well, you can help students build relationships with one another in addition to allowing you to focus on harder, more complex coaching.
Remember that sharing out or presenting run-throughs always takes longer than you think. When possible, ask students to select smaller chunks of content to share out, focused around specific goals. Reserve full run-throughs for practicing transitions, endurance, memory, and build. Set expectations for not making it to everyone.
Wear an actual watch. Keep overall time using a watch (as opposed to a cell phone, which can look like you aren’t paying attention). Use timers for getting a more precise time on a speech.
Always make sure you leave time for goal-setting and reflection. Even when time is tight, goal setting and reflection is important for solidifying learning, so this is time well-spent.
Bring in help. Before final events, assignments, and performances, everyone needs more practice time on full run-throughs. Bring in an assistant or some volunteers who can watch and maximize the amount of run-throughs.
Incorporate enough buffer time. As you get to know your students, you will start to notice patterns in how much you tend to run over time each practice. Make adjustments to future agendas and incorporate the appropriate “buffer”.
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