Quick Quiz: Are you Time-Oriented or Task-Oriented?

Mar 6, 2013

Educators plan for their weeks at school in so many ways. The possible formats…Outlook… Google…Word…a hand-drawn list…are endless.

Even still, teachers always seem to split into two camps. . . Those motivated by time and those driven by tasks.

Are you time or task-oriented?

I found this quiz online and modified it to fit a teacher’s life.

When you plan on calling parents, which one of these three scenarios sounds most palatable to you?

1. Call twenty families.
2. Call until you reach five families in person to invite them to literacy night.
3. Make calls for one hour.

If #1 and #2 sound good to you, you are probably “task-oriented.”

If #3 feels better, you are probably “time-oriented.”

If you are task-oriented, you:

  • prefer to work on a project until it is complete – calls, planning, emailing, filing, etc.
  • may get overwhelmed if something feels too big. Unit planning, anyone?!
  • can rely on the coping strategy “make it bite-sized.” Break larger tasks down into smaller ones. Check out below how Emily does this with Unit 3.
  • probably like using Weekly Worksheets. Electronic calendars may feel too confining to you. You may prefer task lists. You will most likely gravitate towards these templates below.

Task-Oriented Teacher

If you are time-oriented, you:

  • prefer to work on a project for a set period of time, whether you finish it or not. This means you make calls, file, lesson plan, grade, or enter data, for a set amount of time, and then move on to another timed task.
  • may not actually finish what needs to be finished. However, if you commit to working on the project for set time spans you will eventually finish if you keep coming back to it.
  • set a timer, plan or grade for 15 minutes, then move to your next activity.
  • will generally prefer to calendar everything into time slots on your Weekly Worksheet in advance of the week


Time-Oriented Teacher

In my quick yet thoroughly scientific workshop polls, teachers split 50-50 on this issue. If you’re still not sure which teacher you are, give a template a whirl and see what works best.

Company secret: I’m personally a time-oriented person, and I like to head into a week with almost every slot mapped out (even if I know they all won’t happen!). As someone prone to distraction and procrastination (trust me, people, I’m far from perfect on this stuff), I find being locked into time slots pushes me to be more efficient.

Together Teacher Discussion Question: Are you time-oriented or task-oriented?