Time Management Tips for Principals, by Principals
Everyone knows that principals have to work long hours in the day. Daily school activities, tackling phone calls and emails, paperwork, working with staff, all these things take a toll on you. So it is very important to manage your time effectively for stronger leadership.
While working long and late might be unavoidable, some experienced principals have learnt a few tricks to manage their time and work effectively. Few are listed here.
Setting up Priorities
Finding time for what is important is a huge issue for principals. They need to make sure that other issues do not interfere. It's easy to get swamped under any multitude of other things. For some people, meeting with teachers about student progress in reading each quarter may be very important. So are regular grade-level and team meetings to keep in touch with teachers' needs and concerns. Set up priorities and goals for the day, month and year. Make sure you are on track to achieve your goal.
Being Visible to all
It's easy to get confined in the office, so make sure you’re out and about at least an hour in the morning. Also, stop in the cafeteria during lunch periods each day and go out and about again for 30-45 minutes each afternoon. This keeps staff and students on alert mode. Making visibility a priority has helped many gain a much better understanding of the goings-on of their school.
But no principal can be everywhere. Time management follows directly on your ability to hire well. When you hire good people, they are able to help you with the 'urgent' tasks so that you can focus on the 'important' ones.
Most principals have also learned how a strong and involved secretary can be a big help in easing the workload. Hiring an efficient secretary will not only help you lower your workload, it will also help in organizing and prioritizing your schedule, which will ultimately save time. Time saved can be used for more activities. Also, with a clean office you have more time to devote to what is really important.
The Closed-Door Policy
Sometimes a principal just needs to make time during the school day to tackle email, reports, or other tasks. To that end, many principals find they must set aside a special time to handle those tasks. Another important aspect is that the staff should schedule time to meet the principal. That keeps them from having to waste time waiting around the office for a 'minute', and it allows you to get much more work done because there are no unscheduled interruptions.
Handle things just Once
Many Principals have learned to deal with each issue or sheet of paper or email at hand as soon as you can, instead of setting it aside and saying you will get back to it. It cuts down on clutter and having to go through piles of papers looking for something you were supposed to do.
Decide immediately to keep, file, toss, or act on every item as it come across your desk so piles don't build up. This can be applied on small tasks which take time later if you put them off.
This article is inspired and contains excerpts from Education World website. Read the original here.