Make Time

How do you plan for your strategic use of time?

In a culture that seems to take some kind of pride in talking about how busy we all are, it seems even more important that we purposefully plan for our time, so that we can ensure that we focus as much as possible on the essential and strategic. That is, if we are truly striving to do significant work and intentionally make a difference.

In the past, I’ve written about my approach to this strategic planning for use of my time…

During the last days of 2014, I created my first prototype for my 2015 schedule paradigm.

For me, I create this schedule paradigm by engaging in some reflection about how I spent my time in the previous two semesters, and I calibrate those data and insights with how I perceive I need to spend my time relative to our strategic goals and objectives as a school.

Then, I ask for feedback…

Dear All:

I don’t mean to interrupt your break. I’m simply getting something into your inboxes for when you return to work. (Happy New Year!)

I’m sharing my “schedule paradigm” prototype for semester two, 2014-15. And I have two requests of each of you, which I hope will only take 5-15 minutes max.

1. Because you are the people with whom I work most closely, I want you to be aware that this is my current thinking about how I plan to structure my recurrent time for second semester. [Most of you know that I do this every August and January to “put the big rocks in the jar first.” Here’s a 2011 blog post, if you’re interested, where I first explain this practice of mine.]

*2. I’d love any of your thoughts, comments, questions, and feedback on how I’ve structured my time plan (which I call a “schedule paradigm”).

Some of the questions I already know I have:

  • As I try to ramp up my CLIO time, how might I get back into weekly work with Preschool, Lower School, and Middle School? Is there a regular weekly/monthly way for me to get re-involved with the other divisions? What do Kelly, Shelley, and Chip + Katie and Nicole see as those opportunities?
  • How might Mary and I return to regular meet-ups to strategically work on DT across divisions and curricula? How might we include Jim?
  • How can I best support Meghan in the development of iDiploma’s big picture, as well as with the on-the-ground work this semester?
  • How can I best support Kristyn with the (i)Project development and future framework?
  • What support/co-labor do the other US SLT members need that I am not providing them?
  • How might I stay focused on the Progress Monitoring System work across divisions, and especially in Upper School this semester?
  • How do I best ensure that I am in classrooms at least 8-10 hours per week?
  • Is there enough white space for people to come get me, drop in, schedule time for all the things that I don’t know yet will come up but that always seem to?
  • How do I best prioritize #fuse15 ramp up?
  • How do I best do my share of the leadership and heavy lifting for the intensive work that MVIFI needs?



The feedback I receive from my peer and colleagues is invaluable. From their questions and ideas, I’m already adjusting parts of the schedule so that my plans for strategic time allocation align and synergize with theirs.

As you do your work to lead a school, classroom, project, venture, company, or other endeavor, how do you make time? I’d love to learn from you via comments and links you might leave here.


This post first appeared on It’s About Learning 1.10.2015


  1. Hi Bo

    I found that multitasking can create problems, so I like to create uninterrupted time for key tasks. If I have a project to work on that may take a few hours or a couple of days, I will let my team know the best times to speak with me or set up appointments around this scheduled uninterrupted time. My team know where there stand and I get to focus on key work, giving the people I work with my full attention, which they are more appreciative of.

    The other area that I constantly reflect upon, is where am I losing time? By trying to cut down loss of time I am more productive at work, more attentive with my family and able to spend more time on personal and professional interests such as exercise and blogging.

    I hope you second semester is a productive one.

    January 10, 2015
  2. Elisa Waingort said:

    I love how you have reached out to your teachers to help you figure out your “schedule”. It’s so important that teachers know they are actively and intentionally part of this equation. On a visceral level we know this but the fact that you are reaching out and saying, “Will this schedule work? Does it address all the needs that we will have going into the next few months? Does it allow blank spaces for the things we can’t possibly plan for but will inevitably come up?” This is powerful and a great model for others to follow. Thanks for sharing.

    January 11, 2015
  3. Hi Bo,
    I like your post and approach. Met with a number of lengthy tasks to complete in order to keep the teaching/learning moving forward with strength, I pose similar questions in this post where I include a link to your post as well: How we use our time matters a lot with regard to deep, meaningful learning and application. The way we manage time for student learning matters too. So as I investigate this topic more with regard to my own learning/teaching, I’ll also think about how I can better help students organize and use time for best learning. Thanks for your detailed and important share. We won’t reach important goals without making the time for those goals.

    January 15, 2015

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