By: Stephanie Weese, CFO, MSBO Board, Associate Superintendent of Finance, Montcalm Area ISD
Most of us are probably in agreement – we all enjoy a yummy dessert. Sometimes we enjoy it more than the meal, right? I remember fondly the workshops held at the Kellogg Center and how the dessert was on the table at the beginning of lunch. What a bonus! I remember looking around the room and finding out that I was not the only one having their dessert first!
Unfortunately, we cannot always eat our dessert first. How many times have you found that either you or your plate was too full for dessert? Similar to a full dinner plate, your workload can end up taking over your entire plate. The end result … there is no time left for you. Let’s equate dessert to a weekend without work, or leaving the office by 5 pm, or being able to take a vacation “unplugged.” We all deserve to enjoy time away.
How can we clear off some of our plate so we can have time to enjoy a full weekend “work free,” or have our weeknights available to spend with our families? Here are a few strategies that I am exploring (not completely successfully, but I am trying).
- Say No. You do not need to continuously take on new initiatives at work. Is there someone else in the district or department that could do it instead of you?
- Eliminate unnecessary meetings. I know, sometimes meetings are needed, but other times meetings go on and on and on, and everything that was said could have been said in an email. Have you tried holding a stand up meeting? They are great! Efficient, on topic, and respects everyone’s time.
- Delegate! This one is tough for me, and I know I am not the only one. Starting with a small task and written procedures makes the transition easier. Also, don’t forget to follow up!
- Look at staffing levels and workloads. Do you have enough staff? If you do, and you still feel overloaded, have you looked at workload between staff? A job log may help you determine if there are areas of capacity where workload could be shifted.
For more strategies, try searching the internet; there are a vast number of leadership podcasts and newsletters that you can subscribe to. They will deliver knowledge right to your inbox!
We all deserve yummy dessert and a workload that allows time for ourselves. Take some time to figure out how to clear your plate! As always, another great resource is the MSBO community all around you. Reach out to a colleague and meet for coffee and dessert!
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