I wish I could walk into your office right now and put this Post-it Note on your desk. This moment in time finds all of you pulled in every direction – and then some!
At the end of the day, there are still only 24 hours. And at the end of week, there are still only 7 days. And, I would hope that some of those days and hours are actually devoted to taking care of YOU!
Back to the Post-it Note …
How can you prioritize when everything feels urgent and important?
How can you focus on less while actually reaching more of your goals?
Here are three tips that you can use RIGHT NOW:
Make it all about the students. I know that seems like common sense. But, if you are anything like me, it’s more like, “I intended to do that, but then all this other stuff got in the way.” Sound familiar? If so, go find your to-do list. Go through it and mark off anything and everything that doesn’t have a direct impact on student growth, achievement, and social-emotional well-being. I worked with a principal last week on his to-do list. In one day, he crossed off five tasks that could “wait until later” because they didn’t have a direct impact on student growth, achievement, and social-emotional well-being.
Control your schedule. Controlling your schedule is one of the easiest ways to maximize your time and keep focused on a few key priorities. Instead of “squeezing in” the important work, try blocking off time for the important work and saying “no” to those things that are of less importance. Sure, that webinar you have registered for would be great to attend – but is it a priority right now? The district wants you to serve on the newest task force. Again, that would be a great opportunity – but does it align to your priorities? Take back control of your time by scheduling the priorities first – instead of trying to squeeze them into your already booked calendar.
Utilize your resources. Sure, you have the title of principal. However, remember that the definition of principal is not “the person who does everything”. Look up from your computer for just a moment. You’ll find that there are a lot of leaders in the wings ready to come alongside you and get the work done. Maybe it’s your Instructional Leadership Team. Maybe it’s the data team. Maybe it’s the teacher or staff member working on their administrative credentials. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the team says, “Yes”. This job – particularly right now – is too complex to do alone.
Don’t forget that we are also here to help you – schedule a quick coaching session with your Focused Schools partner. As former principals, we feel your struggle and might just have an idea or two that could help you.
If you don’t have a Focused Schools partner coach, reach out and we will talk with you about how to make that happen. You can reach us at email@example.com.