Here’s how to make the most of your work day at school
Why is time management important for schools?
Time management tips are usually doled out to students – to help them study better, prepare well for exams, or just to help them learn this important life skill within a structured environment. So why would something like time management be important for school administrators? After all, these are adults who are in charge of students and would have mastered this basic life skill by their age.
But as most workers will tell you, time management is a constant battle. With growing distractions, increasing responsibilities, and the stress of the day to day at any job, time management goes from just being another good quality for an adult to possess to a necessary trait for anyone who wishes to reduce the stress in their work life.
The same applies to school administrators, who are often tasked with the unenviable job of running an entire school without dropping the ball. The stakes are high and school administrators — unlike plenty of other job roles — cannot afford to falter. It is in this high pressure and high stakes scenario that time management comes in to save the day. For a school administrator, the difference between a smoothly functioning school and a disastrous, unwieldy behemoth might just come down to how well they manage their time.
Below we have highlighted, the top effective time management tips which improve the administrator productivity and growth:
1. Create a to-do list
Sounds simple but effective prioritization and articulation of daily goals is likely one of the most impactful things a school administrator could do to run their school efficiently. Creating a simple to do list is step one – listing out all the tasks along with deadlines put against each of the items is how the day should be started. Following this, it is important to organize all the items on a to-do list by order of priority, with the one that is most achievable and key being put first. This helps ensure that not only do school administrators get to everything they have to finish, but also do it in the most efficient fashion possible.
2. Build an effective team
Like in any big organization, a leader is only as effective as their team. This means that it is important for school administrators at educational institutions like schools and colleges lean on their colleagues and their team to help perform the best job they can.
This is done primarily by delegation. Remember the to-do list from the previous recommendation? Assigning people from one’s team to each of the to-do list items ensures that work is evenly distributed and the pressure is not on just one person to do it all. Building an effective team is key to ensuring a manageable workload – that is conscious of the time and effort that needs to be put in when running a school.
3. Eliminating distractions and blockers
There are time drains all around us and things are no different for school administrators at an educational institution like a school or college. It is important for school administrators to identify people, tasks, or events that drain them of their energy and resources – time and otherwise. There are always inefficiencies in a process, and identifying them is step one of eliminating these blockers and distractions. Blockers and distractions that are repetitive are especially harmful since they slow down the working of things for everyone – slowing down the whole organization.
4. Establishing SMART goals
It is not enough to merely make a to-do list. For a large organization like a school or college, ie an educational institution to function efficiently, it is important to establish long term and short term goals. When establishing these goals it is important to make sure they are SMART. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. When considering a goal for your school – think. Is this goal SMART? Does it meet all the parameters? Only then can it become a goal that your school works towards. Having SMART goals makes sure that all the hard work a school administrator puts in is a sensible expenditure in terms of their time and labor, instantly making it more time efficient. Time management is not just about cutting down wastage of time but also using time more efficiently, and SMART goals help with that.
5. Leverage the use of tech
Using tech to your advantage is one of the low hanging fruits that every school administrator must reach for today in order to better manage their time. Technology solutions like school ERP systems can really reduce the time burden on school staff. How do they do this? School ERP systems can take over a variety of processes currently being performed by human employees at a great time and labor cost. For instance, taking attendance, transport management, class scheduling and a whole host of other functions can be managed by a school ERP system with minimal input and guidance from a school administrator. Talk about a time saver! This simple solution should be step one for any school administrator seeking to improve how they manage their time.
6. Set agendas for meetings
Every adult working human has been a meeting that never seems to end and has no point. Oftentimes, meetings can feel like you are doing work, but in reality, there are far more efficient ways to communicate, rather than face to face, especially in the age of technology. For instance, before sending a meeting invite that will be a time drain on multiple people, ask yourself – can this go in an email or a text message or any other form of communication? In cases where a meeting is absolutely necessary, set an agenda and make sure everyone sticks to it. This ensures that meetings are not endless ramblings of various employees that end up being pointless and unproductive. Instead, with an agenda, you can ensure everyone stays on task and resolutions are arrived at during the course of the meeting that will affect real change post the meeting.