“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe
Time! This is your most valuable resource. You are provided with 24 hours a day. How do you spend it?
My husband just said to me, “There seems to be a great deal of time that is wasted.” What do you think? Do you see time being wasted? He was referencing political leaders.
Perception is something leaders must be aware of as they work. How people view or perceive us factors into their beliefs of the quality of the work we do.
In discussions with many different leaders, many thoughts were shared on perceptions, dealing with time, and managing daily operations. It isn't easy to manage days when many factors interrupt or disrupt the plans you have made for the day.
Preparing for unexpected
- Cross-training staff is a strategy to help prepare for unexpected emergencies, illnesses, sudden loss, or many other possibilities.
- Prioritize tasks to complete. We often try to meet all of the quick and easy things on our list to feel accomplished. In reality, the “big stuff” keeps getting bigger.
- Organize, organize and delegate. There is nothing wrong with dividing and conquering. Make sure what is delegated is appropriate.
- Prepare in advance items that can be used again by changing a few essential things. Example: I was caught off guard by a death of a student. When a death occurs, emotions can get in the way. I have letters already prepared for incidents like this and am thankful for each day they are never used.
- Over schedule a few minutes on each task. When scheduling tasks on your calendar, adjust them by providing a few extra minutes. This gives you a sense of accomplishment by finishing early. Allows time for those interruptions that will happen throughout the workday.
I can’t see you
One of the critical factors educational leaders are told, “be visible.” I find this to be true with many leadership roles. People want to see leaders. When leaders are not actively present and connected with those they lead, a disconnect happens.
When was the last time you saw your leader? Leaders, when was the last time you were out with the people you serve? Visibility takes time to complete, but the value is so significant.
You can save your time by organizing, prioritizing, and structuring. Here are a few tips to help in not letting time tic-toc away.
- Establish a routine- Example: I started with emails, moved to physical mail, and then phone messages. (Touch everything once)
- Have a daily schedule-Tasks to complete, Meetings-Color code to determine how much time you spend on specific areas. Monitor your time.
- Schedule me time-to reflect on time spent, steps taking, reevaluate items, and refocus to organize plans—time to work on specific tasks. Turn off notifications, email, phone, and no interruptions. Face to Face conferences.
- Say No- It is OK to say no to things that do not apply to your goals, which will help your mission of vision. You are focused on what you need to accomplish in your time frame.
- Delegate! Help others with their leadership when appropriate.
Prioritize your time to accomplish what is the most important to your team and organization. Set guidelines routines and remove anything that is not working to achieve the established goals. Establish a daily calendar of your time. Commit to being visible daily and active with those you serve.