For Administrators

5 Time Management Tips for Principals

By The Room 241 Team November 9, 2012

As school leaders, principals must know how to manage their time and use it effectively. However, time management is not always easy since principals are challenged every day by a multitude of different tasks. When it comes to time management, school leaders should follow the simple tips below that to help maximize personal time in the classroom and effectively tackle administrative duties.

Here are five effective ways for principals to manage their time.


Principals should begin every school year, every week and every day with their top priorities. When a principal is able to prioritize, the most important tasks are tackled first, which ensures their completion. Then the other items on the to-do list can be completed. Principals should work with their administrative support staff to help establish a to-do list and a schedule so that every item is accounted for and everyone knows their role to accomplish each goal that has been set.


A good manager knows how to delegate, and principals need to focus on delegating responsibilities to the proper parties. No one person can take on every challenge and every task. Principals need to know which tasks can be delegated and which staff members can best take on those tasks. By relieving the workload, principals will be able to give more of themselves to more important issues, such as school safety and being visible in the classroom.

Learn to say “no”

Saying “no” isn’t always easy, but principals must learn to do it if they are going to get the most out of their time. The best leaders know how to make the most of each workday, and that cannot be done if every request is granted. Principals need to think quickly on their feet. If a teacher needs assistance or a favor and the principal cannot accomplish it at that time, then that administrator needs to be able to either say no or find someone who can help the teacher with the task.

“Close your door”

Create time each day to get through basic duties such as email, paperwork, and returning phone calls. This should be called “closed door” time, and staff should know not to interrupt the principal unless it is truly an emergency. By limiting interruptions, a principal can efficiently move through mundane tasks that do need to get done each day, such as sorting through email and returning phone calls. When specific time is allotted for these tasks, then the principal often finds it is easier to accomplish larger items on their to-do list during other times in the day.

Leverage technology

Use the technological resources that are on hand. With a tablet, a principal can go over a presentation while making visits to the classrooms each day. Technology allows people to multitask and be efficient, so the best principals are technologically-savvy and are promoters of technology within the classroom. By using the resources available, a principal will notice that each day runs more efficiently. Ultimately, time will be easier to manage.

A day in the life of a principal can seem overwhelming. Between trying to find time to connect with students and staff and also tackle the administrative issues that are presented each day, the tasks of a principal can seem daunting. However, when it comes to time management, administrators need to know that it can be done as long as they learn to ask for help, prioritize their time and are realistic about what they can accomplish on any given day. When good staff is hired and principals put an emphasis on time management, daily life in that school will run smoothly.

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