School administrators are a harried lot. They have so many things to do and even as work piles up, new ones arrive to add to their burden and it is no surprise if their schedules go all out of whack. School managers must be masters at juggling time and getting things done on time every day to ensure smooth functioning. Here are a few time management tips school managers and principals are likely to find useful.
It is natural for anyone in a position of responsibility to assume that no one else is capable and that they must handle everything. Administrators and principals can save a lot of time for more critical work by learning to delegate less important but necessary tasks to selected people on their staff. You have more time on your hands and your staff is happy to be sharing in the administration. It works out well for everyone.
It helps to start the day by creating a list of priorities. Tasks in order can be handed over to people on your staff and each one is given a time frame to complete the task. Handle only the top priority jobs by yourself. Do not allow anything else to intrude and cause you to set aside high priority tasks. There are tasks that can be done in an hour or less and there are tasks that can take days. If such tasks can be handled by someone else, let them do it, all the while reporting to you. Better still, make use of school management software to create a list of priorities and assign tasks. Then use the school management app to keep track of the progress of tasks. Use the app to decide on which tasks you will handle, which tasks to delegate and which tasks to dump or avoid entirely.
There are times when you fight shy of saying No and refusing a request. This can upset your schedule with no gains for you or the school or its students. People can walk into your office and make verbal requests or demands. Instead, entertain all such requests only through the school management app and use it to deny one if inappropriate. This way you make it official instead of appearing personal. This also has another benefit. When you keep yourself available through open-door policy or through hours when you are personally available you spend time listening to people. This means your work is set aside. Then, if you agree, you have to do the work and more important work becomes sidelined. With the school management app, you get people to input their requests using their devices while you are in your office working away on tasks without being disturbed. You can review the request and refuse it through the app. This way you do not have to spend time in arguments.
Offices and officials tend to make great use of paper. It is a good idea. You must have written records as proof. However, writing or entering data can be time consuming. Instead, try to use audio recording technology or speech to text software. Instead of writing out memos to a dozen staff members simply record and send by chat over the school management app. You will save a lot of time.
Stand back and be objective in analyzing everything that requires you to invest time and effort. Your analysis can cover whether it is essential or not. You can assess ways to avoid some situations from developing or simply find loopholes and plug them. Your school management software, if it has an analysis module, can help you derive information that will help in better time management.
This is about whole ergonomics of school administration. The administrative section may be in one wing, the classes in another and the teacher’s rooms in another. You or your staff may be spending a considerable amount of time walking from one place to another simply to communicate. Use technology to install intercoms at various locations. Walking takes time and takes you away from vital work. You can use the phone or intercom to get information or clarification and this saves time you can devote to getting work done.
It is a great feeling to receive visitors and talk with them. You could spend the best part of the day talking with visitors and get nothing done. Instead, simply make it a policy to have your staff members meet and talk with visitors. If and when you must talk, keep it brief.
School administrators have many duties to perform and must also interact with people but not at the cost of getting work done. Use the foregoing tips and incorporate appropriate school management software into your setup. You will be surprised just how much your productivity improves. You may even find spare time on your hands.