Time is like air – it will take up every single bit of the space available.
Air takes up all of the space in a room, all of the space in your yard.
Funny how time does the same thing (if we aren’t paying attention).
A story that your staff member is telling you will take up all of the time you had planned to mentor a teacher.
The paperwork that you have to complete will take up all of the time that you wanted to use to do a new newsletter to parents.
Air isn’t really something you can see or touch, or get your arms around to move it or stop it. It’s just everywhere.
The same with time. You can’t see it or touch it. Time ticks away and we can never stop the clock.
And that’s when time suckers show up. Time suckers sneak into every crack of your schedule, and before you know it, your time is totally consumed.
I want you to really picture those time suckers invading your schedule. Taking it over. Yuck!
But the good news is, you absolutely can get your arms around time suckers, and when you do, you’ll be able to do the higher level tasks that make your center sing.
One caution I have for you. Trying to change your time management style can be VERY frustrating – maybe even feel impossible.
First – it is definitely not impossible (meaning it IS POSSIBLE to change how you allocate your time.)
Second – it definitely takes effort to change your HABIT of time usage.
Third – it’s a lot easier to just let your time be eaten up by time suckers than it is to make a concerted change in how you distribute your time.
Or is it?
Is it easier to be squished for time every day? Is it easier to feel like you’ll never catch up? Is it easier to always feel like you didn’t do enough?
This is something only you can answer.
So. Think. (This is the WHAT)
What do you want for yourself as the incredible leader of your child care center?
- Time to do the higher level work that will support my staff, parents and children
- Time to teach others to be empowered in my center
- Time to motivate children, staff and parents
- Time to collect my thoughts so I can be my best self
- Time for myself – so I continue to love my profession and not burn out
What do you want for each of your staff members?
- The skills to be able to do some of the tasks that I am now doing
- The ability to take ownership of helping children soar
- The desire to be a part of an organized, low-stress professional child care center
- The passion to give each child the time s/he needs to be all that they can be
Then Explain. (This is the WHY)
Why is it important for you and your staff to have more quality time?
- You’ll all be much more effective if you don’t feel rushed and only half paying attention
- You’ll all be happier in the work you are doing – helping children to flourish
- You’ll respect one another more because you are doing quality work together, complementing one another’s efforts
And now, Change. (This is the HOW)
How can you change the habits you all have embedded in your work style?
- Recognize and discuss the issue candidly between leaders and staff members
- List the pros of making a change from too much disruption and squish to quality time and actions
- Acknowledge the difficulties that will come up
- Make a plan to change these habit
- Work as a team to support one another
- Tally the wins as you make the changes
To answer the question, “is it easier to let the time suckers win?” — I hope not!
Need more help with time?