The day of a school administrator can be very hectic.
How many times have you been planning a curriculum workshop and are called away to handle a building maintenance issue? Or been in the middle of a new teacher observation and have to leave because of a disciplinary issue at recess? With all of these responsibilities and constant interruptions, how can you possibly get anything accomplished?
We are sure you’ve read the myriad of books that exist on time management, but some of those techniques may not work for school administrators. Here, we offer some creative tips to get more done throughout the day.
Creative Tips to Get More Done During the School Day
Get Out of the Office
You’re a dedicated leader so you always want to be available. However, distractions can be a real time-waster. Have lots of paperwork to do? Get out of the office. This doesn’t mean that you have to leave the building. You can go to an empty classroom or find a nice quiet place outdoors to work.
Take Advantage of Unexpected Breaks
How many times have you been sitting in the conference room waiting for a meeting to start? Think about using the time before the meeting to accomplish a few things. If you have a tablet, you can answer a few e-mails and take these off of your to-do list. To accomplish even more, you should pack a meeting bag to take with you. This should include two to three things that you can do in less than 10 minutes. Some creative ideas include articles that you need to read, reviewing or looking over field trip requests or approving vacation time.
Do Tasks You Dread First
Do you have that one project that you keep moving to the bottom of your to-do list? It’s likely something that’s overwhelming or that you just don’t enjoy doing. Instead of procrastinating, you should make this task a priority.
That sounds like the complete opposite of what you want to do, we know, but getting it out of the way will free up time and mental space to focus on other tasks.
Get Off the Grid Sometimes
Today’s administrator is bombarded with communication via cell phones and e-mails. Having cell phones and e-mail has both its advantages and disadvantages. Although some immediate contact is crucial, most can wait an hour or two.
Getting off the grid is an easy way to have a more productive day. Schedule your off the grid time daily. During this time you can work on projects, plan your day or set goals for the school or district.
Do Similar Tasks Together
When you’re planning your day, be sure to schedule similar tasks at the same time. This will make them both easier and faster to do because you’ll be able to stay focused., and won’t have to concern yourself with “switching mental gears.”
For example, you can organize your work according to – personnel, meeting planning, finances, responding to communications, or working on curricula.
Implement these creative tips in your day to become more productive. You can also share these tips with your staff to help them in better managing and getting their work accomplished.