Managing Your Time & Workload As An Online Tutor: Tips For Staying Organized

With the rise of online learning, traditional notions of time have been challenged. Online learning allows for leverage for both teaching and learning, meaning that students can complete classwork at their own pace and on their own schedule.

While this can be convenient for students, it can also challenge teachers. Studies have shown that teaching online takes more time and effort than teaching in a traditional classroom.

This is because online teaching requires different skills and practices, such as creating and maintaining chat rooms, responding to emails at all hours of the day, and providing 24/7 advising.

Teaching online can be more time-consuming for educators because it requires more frequent and fragmented student interactions. Unlike in a traditional classroom setting where teaching activities are contained in blocks of time, online teaching requires instructors to be constantly available and respond to student inquiries, discussions, and grading.

This can leave less time for other professional or personal activities. There are several strategies that educators can consider to manage time effectively when teaching online.

Here are 10 tips that can help you to stay organized and ahead of your game as an online tutor!

1. Plan ahead of time

Schedule your announcements beforehand if you want to save yourself some stress and hassle. You can even include information on what’s due each week, so your students don’t feel like they’re flying blind.

Set clear goals for yourself and use a monthly planner or an app to help you break down these goals into manageable steps. Your future self will thank you for getting your act together now instead of scrambling at the last minute.

2. Be efficient with tech

Instead of getting intimidated by it, why not let technology lend you a hand?

Check out efficiency tools like Google Forms and their add-ons to lighten your workload and save yourself some precious time and energy. Technology can be your best friend if used smartly, so it’s best to embrace it!

3. Schedule feedback

Students love getting feedback faster than a cheetah chasing its prey. But that doesn’t mean you must stay stuck to your computer screen 24/7. Instead, set some clear expectations for your feedback response time.

Let your students know when they can expect to hear back from you – within 24 hours for emails or a week for grading assignments. That way, they won’t be left hanging like a piñata.

4. Take out time for yourself

Are you feeling burnt out? Maybe it’s time to take a chill pill and allocate some “me time” for yourself. Schedule some exercise, catch up on your beauty sleep, and engage in activities that bring you joy and feed your soul.

5. Follow a routine

 Set aside a consistent time each day to tackle those emails, lead those brilliant class discussions, and tackle that mountain of grading.

Consistency is key – just like how your students know that they’ll get a pop quiz every Friday, you should know that you have a set time everyday to tackle those teaching tasks like a boss.

6. Create templates of grading comments

We all have our go-to phrases for grading, like “good effort” or “needs improvement.”

Why not save time and effort by creating a list of frequently used grading comments? That way, you can just cut and paste them whenever needed. You’ll have more time to spend on important things – like binge-watching the latest season of your favorite show or perfecting your coffee brewing skills.

 Your sanity and productivity levels will thank you for it.

7. Be smart with your time

We all know that sometimes it’s tempting to spend hours scrolling through memes on Instagram or watching cute animal videos on YouTube. But unless those memes and videos pay your bills or make you a better teacher, they’re just time-wasters. The same can be said about unproductive chats and email chains that frustrate you more than ever.

So, first things first – identify your time-wasters. If it relaxes you, it’s not a time-waster – it’s just “me-time.” But it’s time to cut it out if it’s stressing you out more than a pop quiz on a Monday morning.

Next, set some rules for yourself. Maybe you’ll stay off social media while grading or have a “no multitasking” policy when it’s time to unwind.

Do whatever it takes to eliminate those distractions and focus on what matters.

8. Be in the moment

If you’re going through the motions, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Please take a moment to be mindful of what you’re doing and enjoy it !

Don’t just rush through each task like a hamster on a wheel. Instead, focus on what you’re doing and find the fun parts.

Remember why you’re doing this job in the first place and how each task helps you reach your goals. 

9. Respond to queries as a group

If one student has a question, it’s a good bet that others are wondering the same thing. So instead of answering the same question over and over again, set up a thread where students can post their queries for everyone to see.

That way, you can answer it once and for all, and some super-intelligent students can even help out their classmates.

Moreover, if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can create an FAQ section so students can check if their question has already been answered.

10. Provide feedback through a visual message

Lastly, why would you settle for a boring text comment when you can add personality and flair to your feedback?

Consider using audio or video to spice up your feedback and make it more engaging for your students.  It is more efficient for you, provides a more personal touch, and can help build a stronger connection with your students.

You can also showoff your creative side and have fun with it.

Time management is critical for effective online teaching.

By implementing some of the strategies mentioned above, such as setting expectations for feedback, following a routine, and being smart with their time, online instructors can help to minimize the perceived time commitment and maximize their efficiency.

Additionally, exploring new teaching tools and technology can streamline the online teaching experience and save time in the long run.

Ultimately, instructors can provide a high-quality learning experience while managing their workload effectively by being proactive and intentional in their approach to online teaching.

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