So lately I have been thinking a lot about time, and more specifically about how we can effectively use the hours that we have to successfully embed all the wonderful initiatives that will move us forward as a school. Last week I found myself wishing that there were more hours in the day because there just didn’t seem to be enough time to get everything done that had I earmarked as important. When Friday afternoon rolled around, and I finally came up for air, I kept thinking about something that one of my mentors, Kevin Bartlett, said to me once…He said that schools and leaders often complain about not having enough time, but the fact is that there is enough time, it’s just how we use the hours that we have…it’s about prioritizing the time that we have to attack what’s truly important to a school’s success, and letting go of the time that we spend on all the other things that pull us away from this end. Being busy and going a thousand miles an hour doesn’t necessarliy mean that we’re being successful or productive…it often times means that we’re losing sight of the idea of working smarter, finding balance, and understanding the fact that sustainable change takes, well, time…and that’s okay.
As you all know, we’ve rolled out an ambitious and aspirational strategic plan, a plan which if managed successfully will transform our school into something truly special. It’s exciting to be a part of a school that is going through a transformational change for sure, but there’s also a danger to try and go too fast, and to get to that fairy tale ending too soon. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to go slow…it’s okay to not over commit and to not feel pulled in too many directions, and it’s okay to take it one step at a time, prioritizing our hours so that we focus on the small successes…the quick wins…and the journey. There are so many schools out there that do many things well on a surface level, but nothing that goes deep enough to become part of the fabric of the school…they move on from initiative to initiative without taking the time to reflect, to review and to ensure that what they believe in actually becomes who they are…we don’t want to be that school.
For me, last week was a good reminder that I need to prioritize the next steps in our journey, and give those the time that they deserve. Sustainable change is going to take 3 to 5 years in the best case scenario, so let’s just take a breath and try not to go to fast. Let’s think before acting, be proactive instead of reactive, and let’s come together as a faculty to get out in front of issues that might delay our progress. Let’s go deep with each initiative and give them all the time that they need to become successful…to become truly part of who we are. Using our time effectively will be the key to this, and finding our balance so we don’t all feel overwhelmed. Our transformational journey is going to take time so let’s make sure that we celebrate along the way, and not view it as a race. Time is a tricky thing I know, and it’s usually something that we complain about and curse…but here’s the thing, I’m not sure it’s about us not having enough time, I think it’s all about how we use the time that we have!
Have a fantastic week everyone, and take some time over the next few days to prioritize the things that will ensure a successful, balanced beginning. We had a great first week and I loved seeing all the smiles. Let’s make sure that as we go forward that we keep smiling, and keep using our hours effectively. Remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quote of the Week –
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst – William Penn
Great TED Talks About Finding Success –
Articles about Time and time Management –