Time. I think TIME is the greatest challenge for educators – our time is finite. We have but 180 days every year, many of them filled with distractions. As a teacher, I knew that I would eat lunch each day at exactly 11:18 and that I would use the restroom at precisely 1:40. That was too much restriction for my tastes, but that is the life of a teacher. Your days run on a precise time schedule. When I left the classroom to become an administrator, I relished the flexibility of my schedule. As an administrator, every day is different. Oh, you can make a plan, write a to-do list, but by day’s end, you never know whether you will be on item #1 or #8. For building administrators, time management can be a real monster. Even after 15 years, I still grapple with this issue. I always have room for improvement.
In contemplating this problem, I decided that the first step is to analyze how my time is spent. Since I am ‘packing heat’ everyday with an iphone and an ipad mini, it only makes sense to use an app. So, I am trying out an app called HOURS.
Hours is the time tracker you will actually use.
“The Perfect iPhone Time Tracking App” – Forbes
“Surprisingly pleasant to use…well-thought-out interface” – TechCrunch
“The world’s easiest way of tracking your time.” – 9to5Mac
Best New Apps – Apple
See this app in action. Also, it is available for Apple Watch as well. SWEET!
Inside the app, I have designate four broad areas in which I spend the most time:
- working in my office (discipline referrals, reading and responding to email, calls from vendors, etc)
- conferencing with staff (teacher talk is usually informal but full of nuggets that are good-to-know)
- conferencing with parents (in person, or on the phone)
- walking the building (observations, lunchroom, where ever I go when I can get out of my office before someone stops me)
The app allows me to turn the time ON and then OFF when I transition to the next task.
My hope is that this experiment will help me get a true picture of where my time is spent so that I can find ways to allocate it to tasks that yield the most benefit. I’ll let you know how it goes….