I’m consistently trying to find ways to simplify my workflow as an elementary principal so I can spend more time with students and staff. In going through the day, I was reminded of a favorite Derek Sivers video clip that presents a compelling reminder to share what we do, even if it is a seemingly simple workflow strategy…or three…that are helping me this year.
Computer Post-It: While I am a big fan of digital resources, I sometimes need an ‘in plain sight’ reminder of next steps or critical tasks. I use my calendar, Google apps and Voxer voice notes digitally, but I always keep a Post-It on my MacBook with simple bullets of things I must do. I keep that list short and focused.
Desk reminder: Each week I prepare an internal staff communication, The Friday Flight, and publish a joint publication of our school and Parent Teacher Association news, The Lowell Memo. In addition to labeling items for inclusion in my email and using one week’s publication as a base for the next, I keep a hard copy note on my desk as topics frequently come up during calls or when I’m checking email before or after school. I’ve also added a space for cards as a reminder to praise, thank or encourage others during the week. And, of course, there’s an ‘other’ category to use as needed! Part of my end-of-week routine is to remove my old list and add a new one to start Monday fresh.
2016-17 files: This week I spent some time ensuring our staff Google site was updated with important information for my staff. Thanks to the fabulous power of Google Docs, I took 5 minutes to open essential documents like our master schedule, lunch/recess supervision schedules and supply ordering, and make a copy of each and rename the files for 2016-17. In sharing these with my office staff now, we have a shared accountability and an efficient way to plan and reduce unnecessary oversights that would negatively impact others.
I’ve been away from my blog for a long time, which will result in a different, more ‘challenging to write’ post along the way. Thanks to the power of my #leadwild and #principalsinaction networks and the goal I set for myself in my own family’s goal setting talk, I’m committing to writing more about both the ‘obvious’ that comes from sharing an idea or strategy that is part of my practice and the ‘amazing’ that comes with deep reflection and dialogue with others.
What workflow strategies have helped you the most? What is ‘obvious to you, but amazing to others’?