Winning back time

Teaching is a complex, multi layered vocation that has many demands, especially on our time. It seems that time has become a precious commodity and when I ask teachers about what they would like, they tend to always reply ‘more time’. Sometimes we do wear busyness as a badge of honor (that could be a whole other blog post), but the lack of time is a constant problem. The good news is, you can win back some time by putting into place these four practices.

  1. Turn off notifications
  2. Work collaboratively
  3. Manage your emails
  4. Focus on the 20%

[bctt tweet=”Feeling time poor? These four tips will help you to win back time!” username=”adifrancis”]


Turn off notifications

You have probably been in a meeting or working on a task when a pop up notification accompanied by a sound appears at the most inopportune time. These little reminders can be more of a distraction, stopping our flow of thought and interrupting focus. These distractions actually slow us down, waste time and reduce our efficiency. Not only that, it can come across as being rude or uninterested if the conversation you are having is interrupted by you looking down at your screen rather than giving your full attention to the moment you are in. The solution is to turn off the notifications to save time. This may seem counterintuitive, as the notifications are meant to assist us with our workflow, but in fact can impede it.

[bctt tweet=”Turning off notifications may seem counterintuitive as a time saver, but pop-ups can distract us from the task at hand.” username=”adifrancis”]


To start with, try turning off notifications for email and social media. You may want to leave calendar notifications on as this may save you from missing a meeting. You will have to develop a process for checking mail, but by doing this you are starting to control your email, rather than it controlling you.

Work Collaboratively

We have all experienced working with other people to complete a task. Not only can you complete the task quicker, but you can learn so much from others. All three major technology ecosystems, Apple, Microsoft and Google, offer the ability to work collaboratively easily. To be able to build resources with many authors in real time means that we can expand our network and value-add to our knowledge. This can be done anytime and is not restricted by geographical location. An argument against building resources with others is that it may not be exactly like how we want it. That is a legitimate concern, however, I believe that the wins by working collaboratively outweigh this. I now lean towards the ‘I can live with that approach’ and that has saved me time and I have learnt a lot from the input of others. For me this is a win-win, I save time, learn more and develop great resources. Start with working with teachers in your school or sector and then slowly expand this network. You may find that someone is developing a unit of work similar to yours and by working collaboratively you can win back some time.

Manage Email

Email can be a blessing and a curse which can steal a lot of time. This is because email tends to control us, rather than us controlling it. We can use email as a to-do list and therefore leave all our mail in the inbox. This can cause more stress than was intended as when we look at a long list of things to do we become despondent, rather than developing a good plan to manage the tasks. There are a couple of processes you can put in place to start to control your email.

Schedule time

Develop a routine to work on your emails at specific times during the day. In this time you can sort your mail and address some of the mail. Use the two-minute rule to decide if you respond to the email or not. If it will take longer than this, then pop it in a folder until you have space to address it.

Use folders and filters

Set up folders called Urgent, Waiting and Follow Up. You can then move the mail that will take longer than two minutes to address into these folders and then schedule time to work on them later. Filters can be used to automatically move emails into appropriate folders.

This has the benefit of reducing your inbox, but also developing a workflow that will make your more efficient and will win back time.

Check out this blog on becoming more efficient in the use of Gmail.

[bctt tweet=”Planning your week or day in advance will allow you to set aside time to focus on the 20% and begin to be proactive rather than reactive.” username=”adifrancis”]


Check out our eReady program that can help your school develop a clear vision and focus on the 20%.

Most of these hints require a change of habit, which requires effort. But the long terms gains are worth it. Take the All-Bran challenge and take one or more of these suggestions to start to manage your workflow and to get some time back, after all, we are all in charge of our own time.

Related Post

The right ways to enable AI at work – Tips for IT Lead

In today’s fast-paced workplace, maximizing efficiency while minimizing time spent on repetitive tasks is crucial. However, many staff members may feel unsure about integrating AI effectively, leading to missed productivity opportunities. As the IT lead, you can guide your team in harnessing AI’s power to streamline operations and save time. By providing clear guidance and


Streamline Your Workflow: Upgrade to Microsoft Graph PowerShell now!

Are you wondering what to do now that Azure AD, Azure AD Preview and MSOnline PowerShell modules are officially deprecated? It’s time to upgrade to Microsoft Graph PowerShell for a seamless experience! Simplify Your Workflow with Microsoft Graph PowerShell With the official deprecation of Azure AD, Azure AD Preview, and MSOnline PowerShell modules Microsoft Graph


Embracing Technological Change: A Leadership Guide

In today’s fast-paced world, technological advancements are reshaping industries at an unprecedented rate. As leaders, it’s crucial to navigate these transformations effectively and inspire our teams not only to adapt but thrive. The challenge comes when we want to integrate the authentic use and integration of technology as part of this change. Here are three


How well do you use the
Apple Apps Google Workspace Microsoft 365
tools in your workplace?

Find out if you’re working with the tools OR if you’ve got the
tools working for you.

What Industry Are You In?

Using Apple Apps, Google Workspace or Microsoft 365?

What Type of user are you?

🫣 Entry User | 🤹 Skilled User | 👑 Elite User

Take the quiz to find out. 

Privacy Policy

Using Technology Better Privacy Commitment


We hold the privacy of your personal information in the highest regard.

Using Technology Better regards customer privacy as an important part of our relationship with our customers. The following privacy policy applies to all Using Technology Better users, and conforms to Internet privacy standards.

This policy will be continuously assessed against new technologies, business practices and our customers’ needs.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this statement, you should first contact the support team on our Contact Us Page.

Collection of Information

In order to use the Using Technology Better website, we may require information from you in order to provide the best service possible.

All correspondence may also be collected and stored, particularly in regard to sales, support and accounts, including Email.

Any information collected by Using Technology Better is collected via correspondence from you or your company. This may be via the telephone, Email, mail, fax or directly through our website.

Visitors and customers of will have their information shared back to DAIWABO INFORMATION SYSTEM CO., LTD. and DIS Service & Solution Co., Ltd.

Use of Collection Information

Any details collected from Using Technology Better customers is required in order to provide you with our

products and/or services, and a high level of customer service.

Correspondence is recorded in order to provide service references, and to assist in our staff development.

Web Site Use Information

Similar to other commercial Web sites, our Web sites utilize a standard technology called “cookies” (see explanation below, “What Are Cookies?”) and web server log files to collect information about how our Web site is used.

Information gathered through cookies and Web server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our Web site, and the Web sites visited just before and just after our Web site.

Storage of Collected Information

The security of your personal information is important to us. When you enter sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) on our website, we encrypt that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL).

When Credit Card details are collected, we simply pass them on in order to be processed as required. We never permanently store complete Credit Card details.

We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it.

If you have any questions about security on our Website, you can email us at <ContactEmail>.

Access to Collected Information

If your personally identifiable information changes, or if you no longer desire our service, you may correct, update, delete or deactivate it by emailing us at <ContactEmail>.


If you purchase a product or service from us, we may request certain personally identifiable information from you.

You may be required to provide contact information such as:



Postal address

Your school or organisation

Financial information (such as credit card number, expiration date, name on card, card billing address).

We use this information for billing purposes and to fill your orders. If we have trouble processing an order, we will use this information to contact you.


Using Technology Better uses personally identifiable information for essential communications, such as


Accounts information

Critical service details.

We may also use this information for other purposes, including some promotional Emails.

If at any time a customer wishes not to receive such correspondence, they can request to be removed from any mailing lists by contacting support.

You will be notified when your personal information is collected by any third party that is not our agent/service provider, so you can make an informed choice as to whether or not to share your information with that party.

Third Parties

Using Technology Better may at its discretion use other third parties to provide essential services on our site or for our business processes.

We may share your details as necessary for the third party to provide that service.

These third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose.

Using Technology Better does not share any information with third parties for any unknown or unrelated uses.

What Are Cookies?

A cookie is a very small text document, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier. When you visit a Web site, that site’s computer asks your computer for permission to store this file in a part of your hard drive specifically designated for cookies.

Each Web site can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a Web site to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.

Browsers are usually set to accept cookies. However, if you would prefer not to receive cookies, you may alter the configuration of your browser to refuse cookies.

If you choose to have your browser refuse cookies, it is possible that some areas of our site will not function as effectively when viewed by the users.

A cookie cannot retrieve any other data from your hard drive or pass on computer viruses.

How Do We Use Information We Collect from Cookies?

As you visit and browse our Web site, the site uses cookies to differentiate you from other users. In some cases, we also use cookies to prevent you from having to log in more than is necessary for security.

Cookies, in conjunction with our Web server’s log files, allow us to calculate the aggregate number of people visiting our Web site and which parts of the site are most popular. This helps us gather feedback to constantly improve our Web site and better serve our clients.

Cookies do not allow us to gather any personal information about you and we do not intentionally store any personal information that your browser provided to us in your cookies.


We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our Website.


Links on the Using Technology Better site to external entities are not covered within this policy. The terms and conditions set out in this privacy statement only cover the domain name of

Changes to Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this privacy statement, and other places we deem appropriate so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

We reserve the right to modify this privacy statement at any time, so please review it periodically. If we make material changes to this policy, we will not use the personal information you have submitted to us under this Privacy Policy in a manner that is materially inconsistent with this Privacy Policy, without your prior consent

Delivery Policy

Most goods are digitally delivered instantly via email.  Our services may be delivered either via an online medium or live in person.

For our online delivery see below.  For services delivered live onsite, please refer to our speaker agreement form which is emailed to you on confirmation of booking.

Refund Policy

We do not offer refunds or returns unless we cannot supply goods or services or the goods or services are not delivered as promised.

Australian law is the governing body for all work, goods and services supplied by Using Technology Better.

Marketing Release

Using Technology Better (UTB) may film, record, and photograph me (the results of which are the “Recordings”). UTB may also incorporate into any production(s) any separate content (e.g., quotes, testimonials, biographical information, profiles, photos, videos, sound recordings, artwork, etc.) I provide to UTB or approve in writing (“Materials”).


I grant to UTB an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free license to, in its sole discretion, (i) edit, translate, and modify the Recordings and the Materials, (ii) attribute the Recordings and Materials to me by my name, age, and city and state of residence, (iii) incorporate the Recordings and the Materials into content to promote UTB, its programs, or products (“Content”), and (iv) publicly use, distribute, reproduce, create derivative works from, and perform/display the Content, and any excerpts thereof, in any language.

2. No Compensation.

I grant this permission without any financial or other obligation of any nature.


For any issues or concerns please contact us