Get your private tutoring business on track for success with our top scheduling tips.
- Use colour coordination
- Sign up for a booking system
- Offer group sessions
- Take plenty of breaks
- Set achievement goals
- Be flexible
1. Use colour coordination
When you plan out your time, you need to factor in the tutoring sessions, meeting prep, marking homework, marketing your services and more. Whether you use an online calendar or a traditional notebook and pen, colour coordination can help you get your head around the tasks ahead.
Colour coding helps people to stick to their priorities, remain focused, avoid burnout and stay mindful. Choosing certain colours for particular tasks will boost your productivity. These are:
- Tutoring sessions in grey - A bland colour maintains balance which is what you need for a meeting to run smoothly.
- Red for detailed tasks - Red enhances our attention to detail, so use this colour when scheduling time to mark homework.
- Purple for creative tasks - Purple is associated with imagination and wisdom. When making lesson plans and thinking of new ideas for activities, block them out in purple.
- Blue for breaks - Whether it’s your lunch break or the times you’re not available to take tutoring sessions, use blue. Blue triggers our relaxation response.
Not only this, but the use of colour will brighten up your calendar, which should make scheduling more fun!
2. Sign up for a booking system
There are plenty of calendar apps out there that can help tutors manage their sessions, although this manual method can be time-consuming. You may have to handle emails and phone calls from students who wish to book their next session. These constant interruptions are not ideal, and the admin can soon become overwhelming.
An online booking system is a solution to keep tutors’ appointments on track. Set your availability and the session types you offer, including details on the length of each session, what topics will be covered and the price. Students can then use your booking link to choose a slot and pay in advance. The booking is then automatically added to your calendar, and you’ll be notified of any last-minute cancellations.
Better still, with an online booking system your scheduling isn’t limited to working hours. The booking link is live 24/7 and accessible on any device, so you can take bookings in your sleep!
3. Offer group sessions
Depending on the subjects you specialise in, you could offer group sessions to students that require less support. Some people choose tutoring to keep their knowledge fresh and bounce ideas off others. A one-to-one session may not benefit these students, and it could feel like the session is being wasted. With a group session, you can answer one person’s question whilst the other students complete a task independently.
Scheduling group sessions for more confident learners will also make students feel that they’re getting value for money. And the more students you teach, the more contacts you have to rave about your tutoring and generate more business!
4. Take plenty of breaks
As well as scheduling your tutoring sessions, don’t forget to set some time aside for yourself! Life as a tutor can be non-stop, and your books can fill up fast. With your tutoring being the difference between a student passing or failing an exam, there can be pressure to say yes to everything. To avoid burnout, be strict with your availability to ensure you have a routine.
For example, you may want to advertise your final weekday session at 6-7pm so that you still have time to relax and unwind. For weekends, you may only want to keep your diary open for the mornings so you can spend some time with your family for the rest of the day.
As a freelancer, it can be hard to set boundaries as you want to earn as much money as possible. But remember, if you’re overworked you won’t be able to provide the top service your students expect. Try to have fixed days off each week to relax and recharge.
Make sure to factor in plenty of time between sessions too, so you can prepare your lesson plan and travel between locations without rushing. The more you rush, the more you stress, which is not the best mindset to be in when you’re teaching students.
5. Set achievement goals
To schedule your time effectively, set achievement goals. This will help you identify your main priorities and ensure that you can meet your targets each day. Although, there’s no point in overloading your timetable with goals that aren’t achievable in the timeframe, as it will cause unnecessary stress.
To set goals, you first need to understand how many targets you can reach in a day. Next, take around 2 of these targets off your list to allow for emergencies or disruptions to your day. This enables you to be flexible where needed and ensures that all students are seen to. Examples include if your session runs over or if you get caught in traffic on your way to work. These situations can’t be helped, which is why it’s important to set a manageable number of goals.
6. Be flexible
As a tutor, scheduling your time will make you more organised and productive. Another benefit is that you can manage your capacity and work out how many extra students you can take on - increasing revenue as a result.
People often assume that having this set timetable is a rigid way of working. What do you do in the event of Wi-Fi failing? Or what if your car does not start, meaning you can’t travel to a session? Well, scheduling can actually allow you to be more flexible!
As you can visualise exactly what is planned for each day, it’s easier to shift tasks around to cope with unexpected events. You should already have a backup plan for these common circumstances. For example, to address your Wi-Fi cutting out, you could send students the session materials in advance. This allows them to still make good use of their time, and you can simply schedule another call to support them and answer questions. You could even pre-record some lessons and send them over too.
If you offer your services purely in person, it may be worth setting up a Zoom account and asking students if they’re willing to join online in the event of emergencies. This way, students are still able to learn and complete work during the planned time. As we know that time can be tight around exam season, they may not be able to afford to skip the session.
Having this flexibility and a backup plan will improve your student satisfaction and credibility. At the end of the day, you’re a tutor because you love to teach so it’s great to be able to complete every scheduled session if you can.
Students expect their tutors to be calm, organised and in control, and these scheduling tips will help you achieve this. If you’re looking to expand your client list and bring in more sales, read our blogs on how to sell tutoring services and how to promote online tutoring on Facebook.
The most comprehensive way to make scheduling easier is to sign up to a free booking system. BookingLive offers a free system to small businesses where you can take 25 bookings per month. As your tutoring business grows and you need to schedule more appointments, move up our tiered pricing structure. Our most popular package is the Grow level - take 100 bookings per month for only £9.99. If you have any questions about our booking system, contact us today.