Leaders often walk into the office with the goal of having a good day but few approach the day with a focus and understanding of how to make it happen. One of my mentors once told me to schedule everything in my day to ensure the important things get done. This is one of those “says easy, does hard” according to the authors of The 4 Disciplines of Execution (McChesney, Covey, & Huling, 2014). I spent weeks working to develop the right balance of scheduled instructional leadership time and structured office time. Though I worked out a balanced schedule that worked for me, the key was to use it.
Everything goes and comes in waves.
Unknowingly, I revert to my old schedule sometimes. When my day owns me, it typically goes like this. I walk into the office and I am met with teachers or parents. I end up trapped in my office having conversations until mid-morning. The conversations end and I get to work following up on all the commitments I just made. Wow! It’s lunchtime already. I head to classrooms to get in some walkthroughs. Lastly, I spend the latter half of the day dealing with my whirlwind.
Being controlled by your day is not fun. It’s time to get control.
I pull out the trusty dusty calendar scheduling tools (pick.co and calendly.com) and go to work on getting control of my day. I know that when I own my day, I walk out of the building like a boss (cue the music). I plan and execute my day to perfection. An emergent situation comes up and I handle it without a significant impact to my schedule. Walkthroughs, teacher meetings, and powerful student conversations are all executed seamlessly.
I ask myself: Why don’t you always do this. It’s because leading is not clean, easy, and doesn’t fit into a nice little box. We are constantly working to improve our leadership abilities. As leaders, we sometimes need to be reminded that just because we know what to do in theory it doesn’t mean we always translate it into action.
What tools and ways do you use to get control of your day?
McChesney, C., Covey, S. & Huling, J. (2014). The 4 disciplines of execution: achieving your wildly important goals. Place of publication not identified: Free Press.