Time Management and Role Negotiation

What’s my Name Again?: Time Management and Role Negotiation in the Writing Center

Meghan Forest, Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors

Step One: Who are you? Who are your clients?

First, brainstorm two roles you take on in your everyday life. Then, give them motivational title! Example: I am a Student / Purveyor of Academic Excellence, Consumer of Copious Earl Grey Tea


I am a _________________________________ / _________________________________

I am a _________________________________ / _________________________________


How might your clients complete this exercise? How would your roles differ or overlap?

Step Two: Prioritizing action in the Writing Center

Franklin Covey’s Time Matrix

Step Three: Finding time for it all

  • Time Management in Anne Ellen Gellar’s “Tick Tock, Next: Finding Epochal Time in the Writing Center”
  • Focus on defining your session by actions (epochal time), not minutes (fungible time)
  • Let the client set the agenda for your time together
  • Set attainable goals—the student may not leave with a “perfect” paper, but they can leave with a stronger thesis, a better understanding of their ideas, etc.



What time management techniques do you use in sessions with clients? How do you navigate a student that wants more time?



How can you, as a tutor or consultant, model time management the student can use in writing their paper outside of your time together?



What can you do to set your client up for success when you’re not sitting next to them? In other words, how do we make better writers rather than better papers?

Step Four: Treat yo’self

How does your center foster a culture of self-care?



How do you advocate self-care for a student who feels pressed for time? Many clients face harsh time constraints or deadlines.



How can tutors create room for self-care within a session? What activities can you undertake during a session while still addressing the student’s concerns?


“Time Management Fundamentals: Achieving Your Highest Priorities Toolkit.” Franklin Covey, Version 1.0.5, https://www.franklincovey.com/liveclicks/toolkit-download/time_fun.pdf. Accessed 20 Sept. 2016.


Geller, Anne Ellen. “Tick-Tock, Next: Finding Epochal Time in the Writing Center.” The Writing Center Journal, Vol. 25, No.1, 2005, pp. 5-24.

To view or print our Helpful Handout, click here: Time Management And Role Negotiation

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Page last modified October 8, 2019