I was tagged by Scott Elias in his effort to look for best productivity tips among administrators.
My first thought was “wellthat’s easy, my computer”. I couldn’t do without it. As I thought more I surmised that maybe my computer wasn’t really a productivity tip just a way to be productive, so I came up with some others and here they are.
Productivity tip #1: Return phone calls and emails as soon as possible. I always try to return phone calls within the same day at the most 24 hours. What this does is keep them from building up. I always have people wanting to talk to me regardless, so if I return my phone calls on time it may keep 3 hours of phones calls down to 5 minutes. Usually if I return a call right away I can keep the call to a minimum. By waiting, sometimes things develop and my phone call gets longer. Additionally you would be surprised at how fast it gets around if you don’t return phone calls.
With emails, I always try to answer them as soon as I get them. I read, from another blog, that you should do 3 things with emails. Delete them, act on them, or forward them. I have been trying to do this and it has really helped my inbox become less encumbered. It also has meant that I don’t have to spend an hour at the end of my day answering emails.
Productivity tip #2: Learn how to use Microsoft Word and Excel to your advantage. I see so many teachers and administrators spend hours on lists, letters, hand addresses etc. It makes me cringe. In this day and age you need to learn how to use these two tools together. The best way that they work together is through a mail merge. If you do not know how to use a mail merge then you definitley need to learn. Using a mail merge can save you hundreds of hours upon the course of the year. Developing a good mail merge system is similar to developing a good lesson plan. Sometimes it takes longer in the beginning but the benefit is that you can use it time after time. In addition being able to use Excel to sort and graph data is also a big benefit for administrators. Getting these two tools to work for you will definitley increase your productivity.
Combining tips 1 and 2 and using them effectiveley have definitley increased my productivity in addition to creating processes that can be used by the next person to sit in my seat.