Time management by a school leader

  • Blog By
    Ms.Namita Agarwal
    Head of Campus – Erode KG Campus
    The Indian Public School
    May 30, 2020 | In Blog

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” – Stephen R. Covey.

According to this quote, one can spend time on useful and useless things if you end up saying that you are ‘spending’ time, but if you call it ‘investing’ time, you’ll for sure use and invest it in something that has great value and is of utmost importance for you. So choose where you want to ‘invest’ your time wisely so that time becomes an investment, not an expense.

Time is running – every day, minute by minute and in seconds. Even though it is similar for everyone (24 hours a day, 60 minutes an hour), each person views it differently, relying on the different activities on hand. But for an educationist, it is necessary to devise tasks and therefore to know, the amount of time each task will take.

Estimating a minute is simple when you are counting till 60. But, despite this trick, one often misses the precise moment. Trying to estimate a longer span gets extra difficult, particularly when there are diversions all around. During the workday, there are a whole lot of duties one has to pay attention to. After completing an assignment, it’s difficult to inform minute by minute information of the whole process. A day of non-essentials feels much longer than one with a single, crucial assignment to cope with.

When we have a lot of assignments to do, we need to prioritise. We need to intentionally calculate. We need to depute. We need to find the focal point. We do all this to increase our efficiency so that we can spend much less time and nonetheless do an awesome task.

In order to help us manage our time properly and increase our productivity, we can use Stephen Covey’s ‘Time Management Matrix.’ In this matrix, each task can be sorted according to its urgency and importance. Therefore, we will have 4 categories of tasks. They are shown as quadrants in the figure below.


Time Management Matrix by Stephen Covey

Quadrant 1 – Do First

This quadrant focuses on urgent and important tasks at hand. This asks us to first acknowledge the chief obligations to be done on a specific day. We name the first section ‘Do first’ as its chores are crucial in one’s lifestyle and career, and need to be achieved today or the following day, at the latest.

An example of this sort of task may be to review an important document for your management.

Quadrant 2 – Schedule

This quadrant focuses on non-urgent but important tasks at hand. This speaks about salient, however not-so-pressing stuff that needs to be scheduled. The second section, ‘Schedule’ explains about those responsibilities that are vital but much less urgent. One has to list obligations in a planner or a calendar to omit delays. An example of this could be a scheduled ‘Parent Involvement Programme’ in the next month.

As educators, we leave fewer things unplanned and consequently attempt to control most things in our environments by committing to them. We can avoid stress by concluding important and critical to-dos in a reasonable time frame.

Quadrant 3 – Delegate

This quadrant focuses on urgent but not important tasks at hand. This speaks about

what’s crucial, however much less vital, depute to others. The third section is for the tasks that one may ‘Delegate’ as they’re less critical to you than others but nevertheless quite urgent. You ought to monitor the delegated tasks through e-mail, phone or a meeting to check again on their progress later. An example of a delegated task can be making plans for the subsequent academic year. One should delegate this responsibility by suggesting to your team to start working on the task and then finalise thereafter.

Quadrant 4 – Don’t Do

This quadrant focuses on not urgent and not important tasks at hand. This speaks about what’s neither pressing nor essential, don’t do at all. The fourth and the final section is called ‘Don’t Do’ because it means what it says. One should not be doing it at all. Avoid time stealers and wasters, like browsing the internet to help a facilitator locate some specific ideas for the upcoming science exhibition; these give one an excuse for not being capable of dealing with essential tasks within the first and second sections.

Time management tips

These are a few tips put together by me which can help educators at large. Personally, I try to follow these at most times.

  1. Put your commitments on a to-do list. This frees up your mind and also helps you in prioritising things.
  2. One must always maintain a single list for both official and family commitments. Thereby, one never complains about missing one’s family priorities or oneself at the end of the day.
  3. Never permit others to interpret one’s priorities. Plan in the morning and by the end of the day, experience the thrill of accomplishment.
  4. Try not to procrastinate, not even by over-managing your to-dos.
  5. Always illuminate on the actual expectations. When you take on a challenge, communicate with the key stakeholders about what they anticipate from you.
  6. Reuse previous material. Your potential to reduce time through reusing and recycling work will vary relying on one’s specific responsibilities.

According to Claire Diaz Ortiz, the author of ‘Design Your Day,’ and a productivity expert, “The best thing you can do to be productive is to create an ideal morning routine. If you manage to achieve the first few tasks of the morning, you can sustain your focus for the entire day.”

We need to remember that time can be both a handicap as well as worth our while. It depends on how we operate it. Whether it’s official or personal, getting to know the way to make the most of it may make one’s lifestyle easier. It’s absolutely on you, how you do it.

So, take some time and think about how you would get better at managing your time!

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