Since I have become an assistant principal, I have tried to work under a mantra, "Just Do It". In the field of education, we talk about what we want school systems to look like and reminiscence about how our past experiences have shaped what we believe now. However, the rubber has to hit the road. We need to make decisions and work to realize the outcomes of those decisions. “Just Do It” reminds us to be efficient with our time and ensures that we are moving forward.
Time management is not my specialty. Sometimes I start a task and find myself distracted by an e-mail, a phone call, a student need, a tweet, a text (I could go on and on here.) Maybe that is the nature of the business. My fellow assistant principal and colleague, Art Vigilante, is a time management master. He is extremely efficient, setting himself to a task and accomplishing it all in one fell swoop. He is great at “doing it” and getting it done. I envy him and his ability to fit it all into a day. For me, time management is always a work in progress. Self-awareness is always the first step in realizing change. Here are some tools that I use to keep me on track:
- MY GOOGLE CALENDAR- I live and die by my Google calendar. I like to joke that if the Google calendar app ever crashed, I would walk in circles at work. I schedule everything on my calendar and you can guarantee that if it isn’t on my calendar, I am not going to be there. I use my calendar to remind myself of tasks and goals that I set to accomplish for the day.
- Paper & pencil lists- as much as I love technology, I still appreciate a good “to-do” list. There is just something about putting the line through a task that I just can’t give up.
- Self-reflection- I have learned quickly that as an assistant principal, your day can easily be consumed by necessary tasks that don’t always align with where you want to focus your energy. Reflecting helps me to remember where I want to spend my time and how to channel my efforts towards student learning.
- My Family- They help me to be a better professional. I am surrounded by amazing people that support me as a working mom. My sister-in-laws and moms take good care of my son so that I can focus on “just doing it” at work. On most weeknights, I come home after work to a homemade dinner made by them and a clean house. I am immensely grateful everyday for this blessing.
- My Colleagues- One thing I love about working at Upper Perkiomen School District is the people. There are numerous teachers within the high school who come to me with problems AND possible solutions. Some teachers come to me to discuss a concern and end the conversation with “how can I help you?”. I can count on my fellow administrators to help me out if I am feeling stuck on something or cover for me if I can’t be present somewhere. Always looking to help each other out, we have a great team!
How do you manage your time? What methods do you use to “just do it” everyday?