skip to Main Content

Setting Up For Success in 2021

We have all hit the ground running and many school leaders have an optimistic outlook that the 2021 will hopefully bring us fewer challenges than 2020. However, no matter what this year holds in store for us, NOW is the time to set ourselves up for success.

What are you going to STOP doing in 2021?
It is easy to add more tasks to our own TO DO list than it is to stop doing tasks that we habitually do, that aren’t necessarily our responsibility or aren’t efficient.

For example, scanning your email IN Box often, adds to our stress level and can distract us from what we have already identified as our priorities. If we only have a minute or two to check our email then we end up just reading the subject line. This pollutes our sub-conscious and makes us feel guilty about the additional work that has just come our way. Research recommends that we schedule three times per day to check our email and only when we have time to take action e.g reply, delete or set a time to undertake the work.
What are you going to STOP doing in 2021?

Have you SET your boundaries?
School work can easily encroach on the other aspects of our lives. Technology makes it easier to check our email and harder to disconnect from our work.
What boundaries are you going to put in place to prevent this happening in 2021.
Here are a couple of suggestions to get you thinking.

  • Which day of the week will you leave school at a reasonable time (early for you) to do something for you?
  • Only check work email on Sunday to Thursday nights (NOT Friday or Saturday) and only for 15 minutes maximum.
  • List and prioritise the tasks that need to be undertaken the following day, at the conclusion of today. By doing a ‘brain dump’ and then prioritising the activities at the end of the day, we give our mind permission to switch off and also sets us up to hit the ground running the next day.
  • Do you need to take school work home or is it more effective to get it done at school?

What boundaries do you need to put in place for 2021?

Does your use of time MATCH with your priorities?

It is important and useful to have clarity about why your role in the school exists. Whilst Job Descriptions should help us achieve this clarity, many descriptions are so broad and generic that they provide very little guidance. A great starting place can be to define why we have the various leadership roles we have in the school. Why do we have Heads of Department, Literacy Coaches, Deputy Principals, Assistant Principals, Curriculum Leaders etc?
What is the mission of each role?
Have you clearly defined what the mission of YOUR role is?
What are your priorities if you are to achieve that mission?
To achieve outcomes aligned with those priorities, where should you be spending your time? e.g. If your priority is increasing the effectiveness of the classroom teachers you lead, how much time are you spending in their classrooms with them?
Is your use of time aligned to what is important in your role?How are you USING your time?
Schools are crazy busy places. Our days can evaporate in a blink. It is useful to reflect on how we utilised our time. At the end of the day it is important to reflect on how we used our time. If our day was filled with interruptions and they became priorities then that is fine however, if we have fluffed around doing unimportant work it is important to refocus and use our time more effectively the following day.
How did you use the time available today? ere your actions congruent with our priorities?